Walmart has earned a bad rap for plenty of reasons—for example, its destruction of local businesses, questionable labor practices, and relentless pursuit of the bottom line. However, to many Americans, and seniors in particular, Wal-Mart is very important . For some seniors, Walmart is vital. An estimated 139 million Americans visit the big box every week.
If you’ve wondered about how Walmart benefits seniors here are few things to consider:
Walmart’s $4 Prescriptions
Seniors, the self-employed, unemployed, and under-employed (those seeking full-time work but have not found any) are the greatest recipients for the $4 prescriptions Walmart offers thanks to the giant retailer’s purchasing might. These groups of people receive life-saving medication that they might not be able to otherwise afford.
Walmart’s Discount Prescription Plan
Walmart teamed with Humana, Inc. and offers comprehensive savings on monthly medical plans. The savings include discounts on monthly premiums, prescription medication, medicine co-payments and cost-shares for Medicare recipients. Since the launch in 2010 more than one million seniors and people with disabilities have enrolled in the plan. Wouldn’t it be great if Walmart sold affordable health care coverage? Read more about the prescription plan here.
Walmart is the Largest Distributor of Local and Organic Produce
Seniors and others interested in maintaining health and contributing to a cleaner planet appreciate Walmart’s local and organic initiatives. Walmart’s move to organic makes it possible for more people of diverse socio-economic lifestyles to eat organic produce. In some product categories organic and conventional produce cost the same! The move also encourages organic farming on a greater scale, and a local distribution channel for local produce.
Many consider this move a pr stunt to “greenwash” the mega-corporation. That was the position taken by the author of a book called Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-mart’s Green Revolution, which closely examines Walmart’s “green” efforts. The author came away greatly impressed. It’s a must-read book for seniors and anyone else interested in the topic.
Walmart is the Largest Purchaser of Organic Cotton
Similarly, Walmart’s involvement purchasing organic cotton is a great boon to seniors and those with chemical sensitivities. This has greatly reduced the cost of organic cotton, allowing it to be included in a wide range of products, from bed sheets to clothing. This move greatly reduces the chemical and water pollution, and soil depletion, associated with conventional cotton production, too.
Is Walmart perfect? Of course not. However, it’s good to remember the many benefits seniors and others gain from Walmart’s efforts toward sustainability and social issues, such as health care. If you’ve felt guilty occasionally shopping at Walmart, you can give yourself a break… just as long as you remember every purchase a “vote” toward the world in which you want to live!