Get ready for the big Thanksgiving Week of Supermarket Action, Nov. 14-21!

Publix’s Pilgrim salt shaker, shown here standing next to a bag of Publix’s store label Fair Trade coffee, is ready to hit the streets to protest Publix’s hypocrisy, are you?

Thanksgiving is the time of year when our thoughts turn to family, football, and the wonderful, abundant feast that marks the start of the holiday season. But in Immokalee, and across the country, farmworkers and their allies in the Campaign for Fair Food have another tradition, as we pause to remember the hard work and sacrifices of the men and women whose undervalued labor has put food on Thanksgiving tables for generations.

Thanksgivings past have brought us many holiday treats through the years, including a critical reflection on the two faces of Publix (“Publix vs. Publix”), a community-wide festival in Immokalee, and even a rare appearance by Rolando the Clown at the famous Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This Thanksgiving will truly be one to remember, however, as Fair Food activists from Florida to California will be taking to the streets in a Thanksgiving Week of Action! If you’re interested in organizing or joining a Thanksgiving Week protest in your hometown, contact us at, and we’ll hook you up with other nearby Fair Food activists. Together, you can let your local supermarket know that now is the time to join the Fair Food Program!

In the meantime, here are a couple of things to get you in the mood. First, this past Wednesday, October 24th, the CIW joined the festivities celebrating Food Day, “a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.” While some CIW members were in Boston taking part in Food Day activities there, back here in Immokalee we co-hosted a national “twitter conference” on sustainable food. Here below is a sampling of some of the thought-provoking tweets that emerged from that conversation, all in response to the question: Why is it important for farmworkers to be a part of the vision for a more sustainable food system?:

Dawn Brighid @dbrighid

RT @lesliehatfield- @CIW it seems people need to get hip to labor, like they’re getting hip to other sustainability practices #FoodDayConf

Food Alliance @foodalliance

@ciw A3: safe & fair conditions 4 #farmworkers = strong rural communities, food security & safety, social justice. #FoodDayConf #foodday2012

Dawn Brighid @dbrighid

Farm worker rights & sustainable food should be interchangeable. You can’t have one without the other. #FoodDayConf @CIW

TomikoP @TomikoP

@ciw A3: How can we care less about how humans are treated on farms than we do livestock? We can’t. #FoodDayConf

ChildrenintheFields @CIFCampaign

“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” -Ghandi | How does the US treat those harvesting food? #FoodDayConf

And we close this update with a look back at a story from two Thanksgivings past, the CBS News video “Harvest of Shame: 50 Years Later,” just the ticket for gearing up for next month’s big Week of Action. The first “Harvest of Shame” aired 52 years ago on the day after Thanksgiving, shocking the nation with the first in-depth report from the fields of Florida in the modern media era. This look at the original documentary in light of today’s conditions, and most importantly, in light of the historic advances under the CIW’s Fair Food Program, is a stark reminder of the urgent need for supermarkets like Publix, Kroger, and Ahold (parent company to the supermarket chains Stop & Shop and Giant) to get on board and do their part to help improve farmworker wages and working conditions.

So, check out the video below, contact us for details on an action near you, and get ready for a Fair Food Thanksgiving!