Fast for Fair Food: Reports from the Front

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tomato pickerUnbound is partnering with the Presbyterian Hunger Program, the National Council of Churches (NCC) Poverty Initiative, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to bring you daily, sometimes hourly, coverage of what the NCC has called “a deeply spiritual action for justice unlike any we’ve seen before.”

Beginning Monday, March 5, 2012, members of CIW and allies from the faith, student, human rights, and sustainable food communities are undertaking a six-day fast outside of Publix grocery headquarters in Lakeland, Florida (March 5-10).

Throughout the fast the Rev. Noelle Damico, Associate for Fair Food with the Presbyterian Hunger Program, will blog daily faith reflections on Unbound. In addition, Unbound will be posting action alerts, tweeting, posting on Facebook, and sharing reflections from our partners. Unbound will even be moderating “twinterviews” (real-time Twitter conversations in which all are invited to participate and pose questions) with the fasters. More on that to come!

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 who can be present in Lakeland on that day and throughout the week 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 on the PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food website and here. 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, people of faith are also encouraged to drop off a manager’s letter when they shop, and to 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.

Learn more about ways you can support the Fast for Fair Food.

Your Fast for Fair Food Toolkit

Follow the Fast for Fair Food blog on Unbound for most recent posts!

Visit the CIW Fast for Fair Food webpage for up-to-date reporting from the front and for a compilation of media coverage of the fast.

Follow the NCC Poverty Initiative blog, with daily posts from Michael Livingston, one of the fasters, former National Council of Churches President, and currently, the Director of the NCC Poverty Initiative. Also follow the United Church of Christ blog, with posts from seminarian Shannon Gorres.

Stand with the fasters by taking a letter to the manager of your local Publix (or Kroger, Ahold, or another) grocery store, saying that you care about how the food you purchase is produced.

Take action now! Tell Pub­lix CEO Ed Cren­shaw: It’s time to sign the Fair Food Agreement. Sign the petition from the National Council of Churches (NCC) Poverty Initiative.

Fast, pray, and reflect using the Presbyterian Fair Food resources and those from Faith Moves Mountains.

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Day 1 of the Fast for Fair Food