“Wendy’s, why won’t you get back to us?”…

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Children from the Workmen’s Circle School with signs saying, “Wendy’s, Why Won’t You Get Back To Us?” and “Workmen’s Circle School Supports the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Do the Right Thing, Wendy’s”

Elementary schoolers have a New Years message for Wendy’s…

image06As we gear up for what is sure to be a thrilling 2014, we wanted to share a little gem from one of the far corners of the Fair Food Nation, a message to Wendy’s that comes to us, as the saying goes, out of the mouths of babes.

When one thinks of farm labor, the image that comes to mind is of the backbreaking, soul-sapping work of the fields, of the unimaginably challenging job performed under the sun and rain, in the heat and cold, by millions of anonymous men and women every day.  But in many ways, the Campaign for Fair Food is about children.  For two decades, CIW members have fasted and marched, sat in countless meetings to reflect on their movement and traveled the country to meet with consumer allies in schools, community halls, and places of worship, all with one thing in mind: To win a better life for their families.  

The changes that we seek through the Campaign for Fair Food — and that are being won every day through the Fair Food Program — are advances not just for workers themselves, but for their children.  Those changes come in the form of higher wages to put more and better food on the table, more free time to spend as a family, and the peace of mind at home that comes from a respectful environment on the job, so that time at home can be spent fully engaged with those we love rather than privately reliving endless indignities suffered at work.

And the central role of children in the Campaign for Fair Food is by no means limited to the farmworker community.  Throughout the Fair Food Nation, young people — from college students to kindergartners — have lent their beautiful, hopeful voices to the growing chorus for Fair Food.  There is no better example of that than the amazing young people and their teachers at the Midtown Workmen’s Circle School in New York, who have been part of the Campaign for many years now.

After learning about the CIW and Immokalee in their curriculum, the students reached out to Wendy’s about the hamburger giant’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program.  They were promised a response within 48 hours, but when one was not forthcoming, they took action, writing a quite straight-forward, open letter to Wendy’s.  We share that letter, in its entirety (and unedited, as you shall see!), here below:

Dear Wendy’s,

This past week, the people at the Workmen’s Circle School dressed up as people who used to and currently come to school here.  The people who immagrated to American deffinetly struggled.  They worked all the time to try and get enough money for food, and a home.  Now, the Tomato pickers in Immokalee have to work a lot as well for the same reasons.  They need to take care of the people in their family.  They need food, a home, health care.  And the only way they can afford these things is by working all day.  And even then, they only get paid minimum wage, which is NOT enough. We ask you to please pay the extra cent per pound of tomatos.  These people need help, and you can do so much for them.  Yet, you don’t. We called you last week, asking you to email us, saying why you hadn’t already signed the fair food agreement.  You said the email would be sent in 48 hours.  It never was.


The Vov-Zayin Class

We’ll follow up with the kids and their teachers to see if they ever get a response.  But if they don’t, you can be sure of one thing — these kids will not give up!  And neither will we…  

Check back soon for much, much more from a fast-breaking new year in the Fair Food movement!