The time for social justice is now. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer while stopped for allegedly using counterfeit money to buy a pack of cigarettes. The death of George Floyd sparked protests and rallies across the country (and the world) pushing for racial justice for Black lives, including stopping police brutality against the Black community and systemic racism that has been running rapid in American history since the 1400s, when Christopher Columbus brought Africans with him to the New World.
You've probably seen some of your favorite food brands post a black square on their social media or posted some sort of statement regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racism movement in the United States. We wanted to highlight these companies for stepping up and supporting human rights and acknowledging that racial inequality is an issue our country has been struggling with for centuries.
Food Brands Supporting the Racial Injustice Movement
The Texas-based grocery store pledged a $1 million dollar fund to "advance the conversation on addressing racial inequity and injustice in Texas communities." H-E-B President Craig Boyan shared, "H-E-B was founded over 115 years ago on the unwavering belief that each and every person counts. Treating all people with dignity and respect is at the core of what unites us. We all must take a stand against what happened to George Floyd and so many other black lives throughout history. We stand together with the black community against the divisive nature of racism, intolerance, discrimination and hate."
P. Terry’s CFO Milli Hawkins wrote an open letter to our crew. We are listening, as we seek to learn and better understand. pic.twitter.com/N2xFpxyY1Q
— P. Terry's (@pterrys) June 8, 2020
CFO Milli Hawkins shared an open letter to the Burger Stand crew stating, "Eradicating racism is the journey that we must take NOW, and the first step in this process is to have open and sometimes vulnerable conversations with each other. Taking time to better understand one's pain experienced through racism is necessary in learning how to be better allies for one another."
Texas-based burger chain Whataburger is designating $1 million dollars to the Feeding Student Success program which will go towards scholarships and programs that promote the success of Black and minority students.
Ben & Jerry's
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) June 2, 2020
Ben and Jerry's is no stranger to standing up and fighting social injustice. The ice cream brand has come forward and demands that white supremacy be dismantled.
They were one of us:
Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Alton Sterling. Botham Jean. Atatiana Jefferson. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. pic.twitter.com/s1UhP5vncv
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) June 3, 2020
In an open letter, McDonald's US chief, Joe Erlinger addressed George Floyd's death and how the fast food chain plans to donate $1 million to the National Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
"I will not speak to - nor will I claim to fully understand - how events like these affect African Americans and people of color," he said. "However, I see and recognize the impact these events have at an individual and collective level. And, when any member of our McFamily hurts, we all hurt."
Black lives matter. We are committed to being a part of change.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) June 4, 2020
Starbucks took to Twitter to share their response to the Black Lives Matter movement. The brand is committing $1 million to organizations promoting racial equity as well as partnering with Arizona State University to design anti-bias resources and training.
Read the full letter from our CEO, Mark King.
We're muting our channels for the rest of the week to reflect, learn, and listen.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) June 2, 2020
Mark King, CEO of Taco Bell Corp. shared an open letter to team members mourning George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The Taco Bell social media team also took to Twitter to let customers know that Taco Bell Corp. does not make donations to presidential political campaigns and has no involvement with or control over donations made by franchisees. This statement came after news leaked about a franchisee that donated $400 thousand to Trump's campaign.
We support our Black team members, partners, and customers. We are committed to using our voice to speak up but more importantly, using this time to listen, learn, and act to create positive social change. We have to do more. We will do more. pic.twitter.com/hUKzKTfN0p
— KFC (@kfc) June 4, 2020
Noting that Breonna Taylor and David McAtee were Louisville neighbors, KFC shared a Black Lives Matter post on social media.
“Nine months ago, I accepted the role of CEO for Papa John’s. In doing so, I accepted responsibility and accountability for creating the kind of company that our 120,000 team members, and the communities that we serve, could be proud of.
— Papa John's Pizza (@PapaJohns) June 3, 2020
Rob Lynch, President and CEO of Papa John's shared a few words via Twitter, "Our hearts go out to our black employees, communities, and friends. We stand with you against racism and injustice. We will continue to work to drive change."
We’re about putting our money where our mouth is. So here’s our money and here’s our mouth. We are committed to donating $500k to support social justice, the youth and education in the Black community starting with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and we’ll have receipts.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) June 3, 2020
The burger chain shared that they are donating $500 thousand dollars to support social justice, the youth, and education in the Black community, starting with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
It’s time to open our purse. Today we are pledging $1,000,000 throughout the year to fight systemic racism, starting with $500,000 to the @NatUrbanLeague. Chipotle is rooted in diversity, inclusion, and integrity and we vow to be part of the solution.
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) June 5, 2020
On June 5, Chipotle pledged $1 million dollars throughout the year to fight systemic racism. The brand is giving $500,000 of the fund to The National Urban League.
When it comes to racial injustice, these food brands are leading the way to a more just America.