The local Chapel Hill Whole Foods Market held its third annual benefit concert last night in Carrboro to raise money for the company’s nonprofit, Whole Planet Foundation. The concert featured six local bands: dub Addis, Karol Peril, Layaway, See No Weevil, The Porchmen and Barleycorn & Rye.
Each of the bands had at least one Whole Foods employee as a member.
Whole Planet Foundation is a private nonprofit established by Whole Foods Market to alleviate poverty by financing institutions worldwide that develop and offer loan programs and other financial services to the self-employed poor.
The foundation’s aim is to give back to the communities around the world that supply Whole Foods Market stores with their products and have helped the company succeed.
Before the concert’s inception three years ago, the typical method of fundraising for the organization was to ask customers at the register for donations.
Whole Foods employee Ian Leinbaugh felt it was time for the store to try a new approach.
“I happen to play in a band and knew some other people — other co-workers who have bands; we thought of a benefit concert to raise money,” Leinbaugh said. “We’re just trying to find another way to raise money other than just asking.”
Leinbaugh also said the goal of each year is just to do better than the last. Fortunately, it looks like this year did just that — the concert saw an increase in numbers from previous years.
“The last few ones it’s mainly been employees that show up, but right now I’ve seen plenty of customers,” said Jonathan Pineda, a Whole Foods employee and member of The Porchmen.
Although the foundation was mentioned sparingly during the benefit concert, 100 percent of the profits was donated to the nonprofit. Tickets for Cat’s Cradle members were $6, and nonmember tickets were $8.
Even though the benefit concert is in its third year in the Chapel Hill store, other Whole Foods locations have yet to catch onto the trend.
“I haven’t heard of another Whole Foods store to do this,” Pineda said.
Andrew Ellis, a butcher at the Chapel Hill Whole Foods and another member of The Porchmen, spoke of a more personal goal for the night.
“I just want people to have a good time and get more involved in their community,” he said.
“We work together. We play together.”