Well-Meaning Walgreens Employees Raise Money For Diabetes By Selling Sweets

We find it totally excellent and kind of touching that employees at reader Ashlie’s local Walgreens store are holding an employee bake sale for a health-related charity. Perhaps the disease they were raising money for has affected members of the staff. Ashlie is a dietician by profession, though, and she notes that this bake has a bit of an irony problem. It’s raising money for the American Diabetes Association.

Or maybe the American Diabetis Association. Either way, she found this just a bit offensive, and went to discuss it with the store manager.

I stopped by my friendly local Walgreens today to pick up a prescription. On my way out of the store, I noted a bright neon green posterboard on the floor by the exit.
See attached photo.

As you can see, it proclaims that Walgreens is hosting a bake sale to fundraise for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). To me, that’s like selling cigarettes for lung cancer or margaritas for victims of drunk driving.

I’m a dietitian who works in a hospital where there’s a significant patient population afflicted with type II diabetes and face significant challenges watching their diets to maintain their blood glucose at a healthy level. Disclaimer: I don’t eat a perfect diet, enjoy dessert too, and advocate for moderation. Problem is, moderating sugar and carbohydrate intake is very challenging for many, many people.

When I talked with the manager, she said they were just trying to fund raise for the ADA but they didn’t have to hold the event if the ADA was offended by their efforts. I emphasized that their intentions were wonderful and obviously they meant no harm, but having a bake sale seemed inappropriate and not in good taste.

Fundraising is challenging if you’re not selling food and bake sales are definitely popular. If this were an event that advocated for healthier versions of popular desserts and/or provided education regarding prevention and management of diabetes, that would be very awesome and in the spirit of the ADA’s mission. Unfortunately, the manager didn’t say that they were planning any of these things.
The Walgreens corporate customer service rep I chatted with over the phone seemed to get the issue. They took my name and number, but I’m not gonna hold my breath for a response.

It’s true: while the photographs show cupcakes, maybe they’re whole-grain cupcakes with stevia-flavored vegan cashew cream frosting. Still a nice dose of carbs, but a healthier one.