An Ohio Wal-Mart is asking Wal-Mart employees for donations to help people in need of food this Thanksgiving. Those in need: Wal-Mart employees.
In a photo that is being distributed on the Internet by "OUR Walmart," a labor group that is pushing for Wal-Mart to increase wages and allow employees to unionize, shows several large plastic bins with signs that read: "Please donate food items here so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner."
An employee in the Canton store who sent the pics to OUR Walmart took the photo of the setup, which is in the employee-only section of the store.
Tiffany Beroid, a Wal-Mart associate and a supporter of OUR Walmart, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that it isn't unusual for Wal-Mart employees to receive government assistance.
"This is the first time I’ve seen them ask associates for donations for Thanksgiving, but I know associates at my store experience struggling to feed their families everyday, not just on Thanksgiving. Most of them rely on food banks," Beroid said.
But Wal-Mart doesn't see it that way. They are defending the holiday food drive and say that it isn't unusual for employees to help colleagues who may have fallen on hard times.
Kory Lundberg, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, told ABC News that this store of about 300 employees has been hosting a holiday food drive for a few years.
"They set the tub up for associates and managers to donate items for associates for things beyond their control," Lundberg said. "It shows these associates care for each other. This isn't everyday run-of-the-mill stuff—maybe a spouse has lost a job or lost a loved one, or maybe a natural disaster has hit.
"Quite frankly, a lot of people in that store are frustrated and offended that this is reported in a way besides other folks rallying around each other," Lundberg said.
Scott Stringer of Dayton, Ohio, supports the OUR Walmart movement and has worked for the big retail chain for five years.
When ABC News asked for his reaction to Wal-Mart's defense of its food drive program in Canton, Stringer, 27, said, "The way I feel is that if Wal-Mart feels we're taking such a nice story and making it seem bad, I would say associates are united. We take care of each other, but my question to Wal-Mart is, 'What are you doing to take care of us?' "
Stringer recalls when one of his co-worker's homes burned down in the last year, and he and his colleagues started a collection so the woman who lost her home could stay at a hotel and start rebuilding.
"Wal-Mart didn't do that. We did that," he told ABC News. "The workers have always been united. Why isn't Wal-Mart uniting to take care of us as well?"