“Dear Joe” the new “Dear John” letter…

“Dear Joe” letters capture former Trader Joe’s customers’ sense of betrayal by “ethical grocer”…

During World War II, a “Dear John” letter was a letter written to a soldier serving overseas by his wife or girlfriend back home informing him that their relationship was over. They were the break-up letters every soldier dreaded.

Today, a new break-up letter is making the rounds, but this time it’s “Dear Joe“, as in Trader Joe’s. Dear Joe letters, an idea started by Fair Food activists with New York’s Community/Farmworker Alliance, are a means for former Trader Joe’s customers to let the company know that they are breaking up with their longtime grocer because of the company’s inexplicable — and indefensible — refusal to support the CIW’s Fair Food Program.

The letter above is one example of a Dear Joe letter, in this case by Ingrid Romero of Brooklyn. You can see more examples here.

And you can write your own Dear Joe letter, too! Just click here to go to Trader Joe’s customer feedback page and use the comment space to let the ethical grocer know why you’re breaking up — and, in this case, it’s actually him, not you!

Also in the news… Urban Cusp, a “a cutting-edge lifestyle magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change, and global awareness,” has a great opinion piece out this week on the Publix Campaign. Entitled, “Withholding Good: The CIW’s Ongoing Protest Against Publix,” the article is a short but powerful reflection on Publix’s continuing opposition to the Fair Food Program in light of a wonderful bit of Scripture:

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it to you tomorrow’- when you now have it with you.” (Proverbs 3:27)

The article begins:

“This verse from the Book of Proverbs ran through my mind recently while I stood with a group of friends inside a Publix grocery store in Florida. We were speaking intensely to the store manager about the call to be in solidarity with migrant farm workers (mostly immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico) in our state for a living wage. Even as we explained the disturbing realities that thousands of migrant farm workers, specifically tomato-pickers, have had to face in Florida’s fields, from modern-day slavery to historically low wages, the store manager kept a stone-cold face and replied apathetically, ‘I can’t do anything to help better this situation.’

Yet as a person in a position of power, is his claim really true?…” read more

Don’t miss this thought-provoking piece.