When Walmart pays its workers so little that they need food stamps to survive, they're also investing in a steady profit stream. Even though their prices are roughly the same or even more than their local competition, Walmart's excessive marketing of "low prices" makes them a first-choice supermarket for people living in poverty, including their employees. Its 1.4 million employees alone account for a huge revenue source for Walmart, as the company is the largest private-sector employer in the US.
Employee wages are so low that during the last holiday season, one Walmart in Ohioheld a food drive for its own employees so they could have a decent Thanksgiving dinner. This video of Walmart workers sharing their own stories in time for last year's Black Friday protests included footage of one worker talking about how other workers often had to loan each other money so they could pay their bills on time.
Walmart's insistence on paying its workers so little is especially despicable, given that the company could pay workers much more without even changing any of its prices. The think tank Demos crunched the numbers and found out that if Walmart simply stopped spending billions every year on buying back its own stock to drive up the value of stock options owned by executives, it could pay workers an average of $14.89 per hour without increasing prices by a cent.