From coast to coast, hundreds of people of all ages and communities asked Wendy's to find its heart and respect farmworkers this Valentine's Day – the lone fast food holdout saw actions all around the country and a flood of social media pressure from the Fair Food Nation! The CIW Women's Group and their children led the charge with a glitter-filled Valentine drop off to Wendy's in Immokalee, and the Fair Food Nation followed suit with creative V-Day actions from performing in-restaurant theatre pieces to delivering Fair Food Valentines and more.
Here’s a city-by-city overview of the national Valentine’s Weekend of Action:
On Valentine’s Day, the Denver Fair Food crew rose bright and early to meet with three different Wendy’s managers in the Denver suburb of Thornton! They delivered an overflowing box of handmade Valentine’s cards bearing the Fair Food message to three receptive, intrigued and polite managers. Once the managers received their cards, Denver Fair Food finished the action by performing an original skit featuring their own Fair Food tomato proposing that Wendy’s join the Fair Food Program, which was received with a surprising round of applause from behind the counter.
Like our friends in Denver, the DC Fair Food crew opted for a morning letter delivery and theater piece performance at their local Wendy’s. But, in this skit there were no happy endings. Although some tears were shed, these were their words to Wendy’s: “Last year we asked you to join the Fair Food Program. A year later, you still haven’t joined. And today, we’re breaking up with you!”
TREASURE COAST, FL
By combining efforts and multi-tasking at their two-day art workshop, Treasure Coast Fair Food created an interactive art feature, marching signs, and Valentines to Wendy’s and Publix! The group made double-header appearances for Valentine’s Weekend of Action: First on Valentine’s Day, debuting their art piece at the One Billion Rising for Justice event in Stuart, FL and wowing the crowd who joined them in posting selfies to Wendy’s on social media. The next evening, TC Fair Food visited the Unitarian Universalist Church in Vero Beach, FL for a discussion forum about the “Food Chains” documentary and the importance of the Fair Food Program!
A Gainesville delegation of Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice members, UF students and local community members, turned out to deliver a letter to the manager at the local Wendy's, urging the hamburger giant to meet with CIW and join the Fair Food Program. Carrying posters with Valentine's Day slogans, such as "Have a heart, Wendy's," the delegation had a polite conversation with the local manager who promised to forward the letter to corporate.
New York Fair Food went on a selfie spree by inviting local groups, such as WESPAC NY and SUNY Purchase to join them and the rest of the Fair Food Nation in sharing tons of V-Day selfies to Wendy’s on social media! On Valentine’s Day, the group flooded the local Galleria Mall with Wendy’s campaign flyers, detailing the hamburger giant’s complicity in refusing to join the Fair Food Program, and culminated their visit by dropping off a huge Valentine to the Wendy’s manager in the mall’s food court!
The First Unitarian Universalists of Columbus visited Wendy’s Headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, to deliver letters, cards and Valentines signed by over 100 children and adults in the congregation, in hopes of engaging in a dialogue with Emil Brolick, Wendy’s CEO, to urge him to do what is right and respect farmworkers! However, Mr. Brolick and other executives hid behind their corporate veil and the group was told he wasn’t available to meet and address their concerns. The group exited the headquarters with more energy and will to continue pressuring Wendy’s to come to the table with farmworkers and join the Fair Food Program!
WALNUT CREEK, CA
With Valentine’s Day signs in hand, a delegation of 6th graders from the Beth Chaim Congregation paid a visit to the Walnut Creek Wendy’s to let the local manager know that there is an order of business to be dealt with, and it’s called the Fair Food Program! The manager heard the youngsters out, agreed to pass along the letter to corporate, and even posed for a photo with the group!
Seventh and 8th graders at Kolot Chayeinu / Voices of Our Lives Congregation in Brooklyn busted out scissors, cardboard and markers for an art and music-filled class – targeting Wendy's for the lack of respect it shows the farmworkers who pick their tomatoes! The students got creative and strummed up a Fair Food tune for Wendy's, asking the multi-billion dollar corporation to shell out just one penny more per pound and support human rights for workers!
The Panhandle Fair Food crew staged an action outside their local Pensacola Wendy's restaurant, delivering a Valentine's Day card and over 100 manager letters, in an effort to invite the local community to learn more about the Fair Food Program and join them for not one, but two Food Chains screenings lined up for next month in Pensacola and Mobile, Alabama!
SOCIAL MEDIA BLITZ
On the social media front, hundreds submitted V-Day selfies holding decorative and creative Fair Food messages to Wendy’s, amplifying the message of farmworker justice through the far reaches of the Fair Food Nation squarely onto Wendy’s virtual doorstep!
Below is a preview of the most creative V-Day selfies, but visit our Facebook album to view them all!