Fast for Fair Food, March 5-10, at Publix Headquarters
“Is this not the fast that I choose, to loose the bonds of injustice…” (Isaiah 58:6) proclaims God through the prophet Isaiah.
Members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and allies from the faith, student, human rights and sustainable food communities will undertake a six day fast outside of Publix grocery headquarters in Lakeland, Florida, March 5-10.
Through this sacrificial act the fasters will make a direct moral appeal to the leaders of Publix to join the Fair Food Program and underscore the brutal effects of the grocery industry’s high volume/low cost purchasing practices on tomato pickers’ wages and working conditions. This witness will culminate on Saturday March 10 with a solemn three-mile procession to Publix headquarters for a fast-breaking ceremony. All are welcome.
Learn more about the fast and the many opportunities to pray with and join the fasters on location on CIW's Fast for Fair Food website.
For those who cannot be present, resources for fasting, prayer, reflection and action will be available by March 3rd on the PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food website. When you use these resources, you will be uniting in prayer with fasting farmworkers and allies who will be using the same resources each morning.
Across Florida and the southeast where Publix grocery stores are prominent, Presbyterians are also encouraged to drop off a manager’s letter when they shop and support or organize events such as the Interfaith Clergy Press Conference and Open Letter to Publix on March 6 in Tallahassee which includes Presbyterian clergy the Rev. Brant Copeland, the Rev. Tom Borland and the Rev. Mary Vance.
Faith Moves Mountains
Florida clergy have launched the Faith Moves Mountains Prayer Campaign to urge Publix to work together with the CIW to advance human rights for farmworkers. Their two- minute video features the Rev. Kennedy McGowan of First Presbyterian Church Hollywood, Florida. Through this prayer campaign, clergy believe that “with God’s help, Publix’s isolation and hesitation can be transformed into communication and cooperation with the CIW.” You and your congregation are invited to join them in prayer and witness. Resources are available on the Faith Moves Mountains website .
Attend Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day
Join with Presbyterians from across the country at the Compassion Peace and Justice training day on March 23 in Washington, D.C. Participants will have a full day of practical church based training and investigate the role Christians must play in today’s changing society particularly on issues of economic justice. Topics of plenaries and workshops will include faith-based community organizing, practical tools for simple living, justice as discipleship making, social responsibility through investing, and many more! Worship will feature preaching by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, Director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, DC. The CPJ Day is a prelude to Ecumenical Advocacy Days, a three day advocacy training attended by more than fifty interfaith and ecumenical groups in Washington, D.C. Register here for either or both events →
Give to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering
Since 1949 Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) to share God’s love with those in need. Your generous gifts assist those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and help build strong communities. OGHS supports the of the PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food which is a ministry of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. Watch the OGHS video, learn more and give generously.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
On Thursday, February 9, 2012, Trader Joe’s signed a Fair Food agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, making it the tenth company to join the Fair Food program that is improving wages and conditions for farmworkers, guaranteeing corporate accountability and ensuring consumer confidence.
Trader Joe’s is poised to open its first store in Naples, Florida tomorrow. On Sunday, the mass rally that was once focused on the Monrovia California-based grocery chain, will march by the store in celebration and onto a local Publix grocery store and rally there. Florida-based Publix has thus far refused to work with the CIW.
Across the country, 33 cities that were slated to rally outside of Trader Joe’s grocery stores are celebrating this victory for human rights and shifting their rallies to local Publix, Kroger- and Ahold-owned stores.
As you celebrate this agreement between Trader Joe’s and the CIW, take a moment to let the company know that they’ve done the right thing. Many of us have dropped off a manager’s letter before, so this time, write your own manager’s letter commending the company and drop it off when you next shop at Trader Joe’s.
And let us renew our commitment to bringing the entire supermarket industry into the Fair Food Program. As the prophet Amos cried, “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream!”