Get a Free Spaghetti Dinner from Whole Foods on Sunday


From an email:

“With no end in sight to the government shutdown, wanted to pass along what Whole Foods Market is planning to do to help in the community. Because federal workers are not just customers – they‘re neighbors, partners, family and friends.

Local Whole Foods Markets are offering up their stores to the community. Furloughed or not – need a place to spend extra time? Gather with friends? Doors are open with even more free samples, Wi-Fi and seats.

And on Sunday, everyone is invited to a FREE family dinner. From 5:30-7pm stop by Whole Foods Markets in D.C., Virginia or Maryland for a spaghetti dinner on us.

In the meantime, we’ll have more events to help fill free time – including Furlough Friday samples at Georgetown and a rooftop yoga class at our P St. store on Saturday.

Whole Foods Market is also encouraging people to get out and enjoy other local businesses that could use some support.

What: A Shutdown Pick-Me-Up — Get together with neighbors at a FREE Spaghetti Dinner
Where: Whole Foods Market stores in D.C., Virginia and Maryland
When: Sunday, October 6, 5:30-7 pm
Who: Everyone.
Why: We love our neighbors.”

23 Comment

  • Really? I mean, appreciate the gesture and all, but as a federal employee I think I can safely say that few if us (particularly those who live in close proximity to this Whole Foods and would partake in such a spaghetti dinner) are hurting so badly from this shutdown that we need charity. The Washington Post that reports that the fancy, expensive restaurants along 14th Street in Logan Circle have all been packed with furloughed employees who seem to be more than able to pay. It looks like we’ll all get paid retroactively anyway. Whole Foods may want to think about donating this food to those who actually need it. I’m sure that the city’s homeless would appreciate a free spaghetti dinner.

    • its about advertising… not charity.

      • I strongly disagree. Whole Foods is one of the most philanthropic corporate citizens; I highly doubt that they are doing this for any reason other than it’s a good thing to do and can save people money. While a lot of the people drinking on 14th Street may have padded emergency accounts, there are plenty of families with 2 furloughed parents that don’t. Get out of your bubble.

        I think in situations like this one, it’s better to give the company the benefit of the doubt than jump to capitalistic conclusions.

        • I suppose that we’ll have to agree to disagree about this one. A household with two federal employees, even if they are both, say, GS-5s, makes almost $70,000/year. And considering the demographics of this particular corridor, that particular family lives nowhere close to this area. This particular household would have to travel a considerable distance to get to the Whole Foods. Are there exceptions to this general rule? Of course. There always are.

          It just strikes me as odd to have a charity event for a bunch of people who, for the most part, very much don’t need it. If it is just a neighborhood event, then fine. Call it what it is. But I wish Whole Foods hadn’t couched it in this tough-times-are-here-for-all-of-our-dear-furloughed-neighbors-and-now-they-need-our-help rhetoric.

          • Oh man how cruel of them to give away food! You sound like a total DB.

          • I could point you to a few services that provide meals to the homeless on a daily basis.

            But a business that is providing a free service to the customer base that usually pays them money is not a bad thing.

            And just because a business provides this service to their customers that your perceive to be wealthy doesn’t mean they don’t do other charitable acts.

            Maybe whole foods should turn into a soup kitchen on a regular basis, maybe Home Depot and foot locker should too. Either way that’s their business and livelihood.

            Also, for some diets and products it is cheaper to shop at whole foods that giant.
            Compare vegetarian or gluten free products sometime. Or check out their house brand which is very high quality at a good price.

            And it’s cheaper that yes organic which seems to choose less affluent neighborhoods typically.

        • Their CEO is an outspoken liberatrian who provides crappy health care benefits.WF is always dinning customers for contributions to charity which, of course, is designed to make them look good. The idea of offering speghetti dinner to feds seems a little bizarre given this context. Most of what WF sells (including most of the produce) is tcan be had elsewhere for a lower price. I’m looking forward to when the Giant reopens and I have a close alternative to this overpriced place.

    • jesus, some business is offering something for free and you’re bitching about it?

      • Not bitching. I just find the language used in the promotional materials to be incredibly condescending.

        • Yes, bitching. And incredibly condescending as well.

          Pompous, self-righteous people like you who spend their time seeking things to be offended by are some of the most irritating twits on the internet. Whole Food is doing a good deed, and all you do is whine about it because the recipients might not be the ones that YOU think are “worthy” of it.

          • You’re right, anonymous, by virtue of calling me names. Did I hurt you somehow? Did I insult your honor? Do you work for Whole Foods and design this event? Good grief. All I did was express an opinion. I feel that charity is better directed towards poor people than towards rich people.

            Have a nice day and enjoy your spaghetti.


            David G.

    • There’s nothing in this announcement that says that the city’s homeless would not be able to get a free spaghetti dinner. Although I agree — the people in the neighborhood are likely to come, eat, and spend while they’re there, this is worded as an event that is open to all — furloughed or not, homeless or not.

  • tonyr

    Interesting that all the focus is on 14th/P. Talk about tunnel vision. There are more Whole Foods in DC/VA/MD that are participating. Granted that their locations correspond to affluent areas, but there’s plenty of Section 8 housing in, for example, Reston.

  • Agreed. People in Reston for the most part aren’t reading POP, it’s largely people in DC or the closer suburbs. And Whole Foods are generally built in wealthy neighborhoods. While I’m sure anyone could show up, this is not an event planned for neighborhood homeless–it’s an event planned because of and targeted at government employees who aren’t going to work. Almost everyone above makes a valid point. So let’s take a deep breath and refrain from the angry name calling and focus instead on the debate.

    • Agreed on almost all points . My only quibble is that I don’t think Whole Foods sent this e-mail to PoP and PoP alone; I think this event (which is a promotional event, not a charity event) is being more widely promoted.

  • wow, I’m usually the biggest hater in the world, but I think this is just a nice thing to do. obviously they’re doing it because it’s good for business, but it’s sweet. go, don’t go, but there are bigger reasons to hate on Whole Foods than this. and for those of you that are put off by it being a good PR move, I wonder what you think about churches giving away food.

  • nothing wrong with whole foods giving away free food. matter of fact, they do that all the time with samples!

  • Eh, if Whole Foods wants to give away some free food, what’s the big deal? This isn’t meant to solve anyone’s personal finance crisis; none of the “shutdown” deals offered by DC merchants are. It’s just meant to show a little solidarity, build some community, brighten people’s day in a small way and, yes, generate some goodwill for the business. Maybe it will even be useful to some area residents. Speaking of the P St store specifically, all the 14th street joints might be crowded with furloughed feds, but that doesn’t mean every furloughed fed is doing the “small plates” circuit. Not every federal worker is a GS-5 or above, and not every federal worker is in a two-income family. Commenters have remarked numerous times in other PoP threads about the concentration of public and affordable housing developments around the 14th St. corridor from U St to Columbia Heights. Many residents of affordable housing *are* working people, and it’s quite likely that there are some federal workers among those–for example, clerks or admin assistants who are single parents. Sure, a free spaghetti dinner isn’t a windfall, but maybe getting one free meal for herself and a kid or two could help a mom free up a few dollars in her emergency savings for other things. Or even if no low/mod-income federal worker actually showed up to the dinner, maybe it’s just a morale-booster to help feds feel appreciated, since the rest of the country regularly craps on them for being “lazy” or “overpaid” government workers. I don’t see anything wrong with that. (And of course I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that some emergency-assistance charities might already be part of Whole Foods’ regular corporate giving; I know a lot of area supermarkets donate regularly to the Capital Area Food Bank, for instance.)

  • Topped with gubmint cheeze–yum!

Comments are closed.