We strive to harness Amazon’s scale and innovative spirit to help build strong communities now and for future generations. We invest in the communities where we live and work, helping to generate economic growth, while working alongside community partners to build impactful programs and create solutions to pressing challenges.
We focus on addressing immediate needs, such as reducing hunger and homelessness, providing affordable housing, and serving communities in need following natural disasters. We also look to the future, by providing programs that support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and skills training.
We focus on a small number of priority areas where we are uniquely able to make a positive impact:
- Creating and preserving affordable housing
- Improving access to food and basic needs
- Community education and skills training
- Disaster relief and response
- Product donations
We believe that all people should have access to housing they can afford. We’re working to address national housing affordability challenges in the U.S. starting in our hometown communities.
In 2021, we launched the Housing Equity Fund, a commitment of $2 billion to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable homes in three communities where we have a high concentration of employees: Washington state’s Puget Sound region; Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee.
We strive to bring healthy, affordable food to customers. In 2019, we became one of the first retailers to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments for online transactions. SNAP is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance to people with low or no income. Through it, customers can purchase fresh, healthy foods from Amazon, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market, both online and in-store.
Our online delivery coverage includes 49 states plus the District of Columbia. In 2022, we launched a pilot in Washington state that enables SNAP EBT customers to earn and redeem incentives for purchasing more fresh fruits and vegetables through Amazon Fresh online.
In 2022, AWS awarded $14 million to approximately 90 organizations globally. We also expanded the program to cover innovations in diagnostics and screenings, a frequently overlooked and underfunded area of health care.
We believe in the power of education to unlock human potential, which is why we invest in programs and tools to help children, students, and adults develop valuable STEM skills.
In 2020, we pledged to help 29 million people around the world grow their technical skills with free cloud computing skills training by 2025. Our programs to support this commitment include Amazon Future Engineer, AWS Training and Certification, AWS re/Start, AWS Academy, AWS Educate, AWS Think Big Space, our partnership with Girls in Tech, and AWS GetIT.
We leverage our technology and logistics to provide fast, effective aid following natural disasters.
To better facilitate this, we developed a global disaster relief hub in Atlanta that stores 1.2 million items, including shelter and repair materials, hygiene supplies, medical equipment, and basic household items. Alongside Atlanta, we now have a global network of disaster relief hubs in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, which, collectively, have donated 22 million items as of the end of 2022.
To further support global disaster responses, our AWS Disaster Preparedness and Response team delivers cloud technology to relief organizations. These advanced computing capabilities aid recovery by accelerating damage assessments and restoring internet connectivity.
By the end of 2022, we committed more than $75 million in support to help address both immediate and long-term needs. This was realized, in part, through Project Sunflower—AWS’ coordinated effort to maximize humanitarian relief and ensure government and business continuity by protecting critical data and digital infrastructure. AWS directly supported government authorities, universities, and companies with digital infrastructure protection. This included helping migrate over 10 petabytes of essential data to secure vital digital information. In 2022, AWS was awarded the Ukraine Peace Prize in recognition of our rapid and ongoing support.
Just because an item is returned to one of our facilities doesn’t mean it’s at the end of its useful life.
At our global fulfillment centers, we use software to identify and sort eligible items that are fit for donation. We partner with local community organizations to collect these items from Amazon facilities and distribute them to people in need.
By donating surplus inventory to charitable organizations, we keep usable products out of the waste stream and help strengthen our local communities. To date, we’ve donated millions of products to global charity partners in North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan.
Whole Foods Market runs a Local Producer Loan Program to support small, local, and independent food producers across the U.S. and Canada with business expansion loans. Since 2006, the program has delivered more than 375 loans—totaling nearly $28 million in capital—to support growth potential. In 2022 alone, Whole Foods Market funded six loans of nearly $1.8 million.
To make an impact in our communities, Whole Foods Market has three foundations to support strategic programs across the globe: