In cooperation with Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, houses of worship are invited to participate in a project to show gratitude to farmworkers at Thanksgiving and to encourage Publix to join the penny per pound campaign.
Farmworkers in the fields are family, too. involves filling penny folders with a month of pennies, bible studies and prayer guides. The concept is simple: educate consumers about farmworker conditions and the Campaign for Fair Food and include them in an effort to pursuade Publix Markets to pay farmworkers an additional penny per pound of tomatoes.
The heart of the campaign includes: 1) learning more about farmworker conditions and 2) collecting a month of pennies in a daily penny folder to present to the local Publix’s manager as an advance for the day Publix signs an agreement with CIW. Publix is a consumer-sensitive, privately held company. Unlike previous shareholder campaigns with McDonalds, Yum Brands, Sodexo and other end-sellers of tomatoes, Publix does not allow public comment at its annual meeting. However, local Publix markets pride themselves on responding to consumer needs. Thus, Farmworkers in the fields are family, too is a campaign to urge consumers to convince Publix that they are more than willing to pay a fair-wage price for Florida tomatoes.
As you gather around the Thanksgiving table wouldn’t it be glorious to know the meal before you is not a product of unjust or slave-like labor conditions? Let us be thankful that we have not been exploited, and the food before us is not brought to our table through exploited labor!
As the penny folders make clear, the pennies presented to Publix in this campaign are designated for the time when Publix enters an agreement with farmworkers to fair labor practices and paying the penny. As consumers, we are standing up for fair labor practices and paying the penny forward.
To order Penny Folders, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the number desired, contact name, mailing address, phone number, and congregation name.
Download supporting documentation here.
- Penny folder flyer (A description of the penny folders)
- Bible Study (On economic justice in scripture)
- Prayer Guide (Table graces that include blessings for workers and farmers)
- Harvest of Shame flyer (25th Anniversary of Edward Morrow’s documentary on farmer worker conditions)
- Letter for Publix’s Manager (Sample of what to say/present when presenting penny folders to Publix)
- Mock-up of Penny Folders (What the penny folders actually look like and say)
- CIW Reflection (The compassion of a refugee)
- Ambassadors to Publix (Lenten Reflection by Rev. Jean Cooley)
Read more about the Campaign for Fair Food:
Instructions for Penny Folders
We invite you to fill the penny folders with pennies and deliver them to Publix. They can be delivered alone, with the prayers included here, or with a personal prayer or letter. We invite you to deliver them to the Manager of a Publix, who you can ask to speak to at the Customer Service Desk. Let the Manager know you would like to be able to purchase fairly produced tomatoes at Publix. Explain that Publix has the opportunity to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to improve wages and conditions for farmworkers and that the pennies are your contribution for Publix to use in paying the extra penny per pound. Ask the Manager to pass the penny folders to his or her supervisors or to Corporate Headquarters. Thank them for their time and include any personal connection to Publix (if you shop there every week, etc.).