Labor Day Weekend of Prayer Actions

The Following is a direct reprint from The PCUSA Fair Food Program.

This Labor Day Weekend, the PC(USA) through the Presbyterian Hunger Program/Campaign for Fair Food and the Human Trafficking Roundtable invite you to a time of prayer, fasting and action for Fair Food.  These “sermon seeds and the resources below have been prepared to assist you in this spiritual undertaking.

For generations the Florida tomato fields have been characterized by sub-poverty wages, lack of rights and human rights abuses including cases of modern slavery.  But a new day has dawned in the Florida fields thanks to the tireless work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and people of faith and conscience across the country.  The Fair Food Program is ensuring new rights, dramatically improving workers’ wages and is restructuring the tomato industry to ensure farmworkers’ human rights and corporate responsibility.  But Wendy’s and the supermarket industry have yet to support this proven program.

On this Labor Day weekend, we encourage Presbyterians in the southeastern United States to focus upon Publix Supermarket and Presbyterians elsewhere in the country to focus upon Wendy’s.

You are invited to

  •  Pray for Fair Food.  Pray for farmworkers laboring in the fields, for the continued flourishing of the Fair Food Program, for more corporate buyers to join the Program, for the work of the Fair Food Standards Council that oversees the program, for our mission partners the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and for the church as it bears witness. Prayer and Worship Resources.
  •  Fast for Fair Food.  Fasting is a spiritually and socially transforming practice.  You are welcome to fast as you are able – a day or two; a meal or more; or from other activities that are non-food related (abstain for example from texting for a period of time).  Use this time to learn more about the Campaign for Fair Food and the church’s work together with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.  Reflect upon the contribution made by farmworkers to our food system.  Consider the ways in which we are connected to farmworkers, corporate leaders and producers of food.  Learn more about the Fair Food Program and how it is a model for addressing and preventing slavery in the fields and in corporate supply chains.  Learn more about how Wendy’s has responded and how Publix has responded to our calls to join the Fair Food Program. Read Fasting Resources, prepared for the Fast for Fair Food in 2012, fasting “101” and an as a spiritually and socially transforming practice.
  •  Act for Fair Food.  Sometime this weekend (perhaps after church on Sunday!, take action at either Wendy’s or Publix.  Drop off a manager’s letter, send an email, place a phone call!  Click here for Wendy’s take action.  Click here for Publix take action.  Hold a peaceful witness outside the store.  Write an op-ed to your local newspaper, lifting up the new day that has dawned in the Florida tomato fields because of the Fair Food Program.  And then drop us a line and let us know what you did – and send a photo if that’s possible too!

Additional Labor Day Sunday resources from Interfaith Action, the Immokalee-based group that coordinates nationwide religious support for the CIW.

Quick Background

The PC(USA) has been a partner in the Campaign for Fair Food since its earliest days more than a decade ago.  Spearheaded by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Campaign brings farmworkers and consumers together to advance human rights for farmworkers and transparency and accountability in the Florida tomato industry.  Florida supplies over 90 percent of the nation’s winter domestic tomato between the months of October – May.

The Campaign has given birth to the Fair Food Program, a collaborative, comprehensive and sustainable program among the farmworkers who harvest tomatoes, the vast majority of Florida tomato growers who produce the tomatoes, eleven massive retailers in fast-food, foodservice and supermarkets who sell these tomatoes.

The Fair Food Program is monitored by the Fair Food Standards Council and impacts 100,000 farmworkers every season.  The Program and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers have been widely lauded for advancing farmworkers’ human rights.

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