Wal-Mart came under similar criticism last year, when an employee held a food drive for one co-worker who had lost their home in a fire, and for another who had stopped receiving child support from her ex-husband.
"It's unfortunate that when a store in those situations, when they want to give back to the local community or to others that they work with based on maybe finding out that they aren't able to work…that they would be criticized for wanting to help," Whaling said.
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As the nation's largest retailer, critics argue changes made at Wal-Mart will trickle to other retailers and help improve conditions for low-wage workers. That is one belief expressed by the Making Change at Walmart group.
However, they are not the only critic. On Thursday, public health attorney Michele Simon issued a report on Wal-Mart that said the retailer is contributing to the hunger crisis in the United States.
"In addition to paying workers so little that too many rely on public assistance, Walmart and the Waltons are building their wealth with income from food stamps," the report said.
According to Wal-Mart's website, it pays an average, full-time hourly wage of $12.92, which is above the federal minimum wage.