Today, shareholders will present the board of Wendy’s a letter from religious leaders urging the fast food chain to join the Fair Food Program. Ervin Stutzman, executive director of Mennonite Church USA is one of more than twenty signatories.
Groups like Taco Bell and Wal-Mart have already signed on to the program, which has dramatically improved the working conditions of workers in the Florida tomato industry, many of whom are immigrants. Signing the letter complements efforts underway in local Mennonite congregations and the Southeast Mennonite Conference. Emmanuel Mennonite Church (Gainesville, Fla.), Berea Mennonite Church in Atlanta, Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church and others have been active with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.
In 2009, the Southeast Mennonite Conference assembly endorsed the National Farm Worker Ministry. This January, the conference established a task force on farm worker justice, which approached Mennonite Church USA about signing today’s letter. At the Phoenix convention in 2013, our church learned much about the struggles of our immigrant neighbors. These efforts at various levels of the church are concrete ways we can stand with brothers and sisters for fairness and right relationship.