September 27, 2010 | 10:11 PM
Last Monday, in honor of Grameen America Week, we partnered with Whole Foods to celebrate our third successful year of microloans in the United States. Whole Foods was kind enough to provide us with ice cream, banana split toppings, and a small space to distribute information at five of their stores in Manhattan.
We arrived just before 5pm at the Whole Foods store in Union Square, which was completely packed with shoppers. Whole Foods set us up in a prime location, right in the front of the store, which encouraged people to come chat even before we began serving food. Once the ice cream and toppings were brought out we attracted quite a crowd.
Dozens of people stopped by in the first half hour alone and were genuinely interested to hear about Grameen America while they waited for their banana splits. Quite a few people recognized Grameen’s name but most did not know about our programs in the U.S. It was great to be able to talk to everyone and let them know how successful microfinance has become and that GA is helping low-income entrepreneurs create successful business ventures right here in NYC.
Talking about GA while making a banana split was a challenge but I was very lucky to have had the help of Danielle from GA and two great volunteers: Gabrielle from Credit Suisse and Cecile from BNP Paribas.
Thank you to all the other volunteers who came to help and to all the great Whole Foods shoppers who stopped by, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
Jonathan Katz, Grameen America
(Images above were taken at the Upper West Side Whole Foods - Grameen America volunteers Jason, left, and Sandy, right, are pictured.)