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Presbyterians urge Wendy’s to join Fair Food Program

Wendy’s stands alone among fast-food giants in refusal to back program for humane treatment, increased pay for farmworkers

August 1, 2013

LOUISVILLE

On Saturday, Aug. 3, Presbyterians from Louisville and across the nation will join with Lucas Benitez, farmworker and co-founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), an award-winning organization of Florida farmworkers, in a peaceful, public action calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program. 

“The Fair Food Program (FFP) is a social responsibility program that ensures humane treatment and increased pay for Florida tomato pickers. At its most basic, the Fair Food Program is about loving our neighbors as ourselves; respecting them, treating them with dignity and working together with them to ensure our common well-being,” said the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “We are dismayed that Wendy’s has yet to join this proven program and we appeal to CEO Emil Brolick to embody the resolve and foresight he demonstrated while president of Taco Bell when it became the first corporation to sign a fair food agreement with the CIW in 2005.”

“Unlike the 11 corporations that are participating in the Fair Food Program, Wendy’s is not paying a penny per pound premium to improve farmworker wages or using its market power through the Fair Food Program to put an end to abuses including wage theft, sexual harassment and modern slavery in the fields, by suspending purchases until problems are corrected,” said the Rev. Noelle Damico, associate for Fair Food in the Presbyterian Hunger Program, who facilitates Presbyterian participation in the Campaign for Fair Food.

“I don’t go to protests every day, but my conscience will not permit me to stay silent,” said Bonnie Blair, a Presbyterian from Memphis, Tenn. “For generations, farmworkers have faced poverty and exploitation, including modern slavery. The Fair Food Program is enormously well regarded because it is correcting these abuses. Why wouldn’t Wendy’s want to support these advances?” 

What:                                      Presbyterians Witness for Fair Food at Wendy’s
When:                                     Saturday, Aug. 3, noon – 1:30 p.m. 
Where:                                    Wendy’s at 1108 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY

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