The fast-food chain has “restructured” its philanthropic model in order to “clarify” the company’s position. Here’s the 411…
It’s been a rough year for Chick-fil-A. As business continues to boom and restaurants are opening in new markets internationally, there has been considerable backlash by those who have labeled the fast-food chain “anti-LGBT.” Several airports in the U.S. have decided to not renew the lease for the chain, in Toronto, Canada, a couple of hundred LGBT and animal rights protesters showed up on opening day, a pop-up restaurant in Reading, England faced similar protests and a boycott from an LGBT group.
Chick-fil-A supports over 300 charities, three Christian groups have been labeled “anti-LGBT” — the Salvation Army, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The leftwing ThinkProgress “report” that Chick-fil-A donated $1.8 million in 2017 to the trio of charities is what caused the San Antonio City Council to approve an airport concessions contract only if it specifically excluded Chick-fil-A. The ball was now rolling and the Buffalo Niagra international airport followed by not allowing the chain in their airport and San Jose decided to not renew Chick-fil-A’s contract following expiration in 2026.
Not to mention the constant unearthing of Dan Cathy’s 2012 support for traditional marriage has enraged those that believe he is on the “wrong side of history.” (Nevermind that there were many people, even prominent Democrats, that opposed the redefinition of marriage.)
The opposition and protests have obviously worked.
Chick-fil-A will now focus on three areas of philanthropy — education, homelessness, and hunger — and support just one organization related to each initiative.
“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos said in an interview with Bisnow. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
The new initiative will no longer include donating to organizations like the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Paul Anderson Youth Home, Chick-fil-A says, all of which sparked criticism in the past from the LGBT community due to the organizations’ stances on homosexuality…
…Starting next year, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9M to organizations like Junior Achievement USA to support education, Covenant House International to fight homelessness and community food banks for its hunger initiative in each city where the chain operates. The company intends to dedicate $25K to a local food bank each time it opens a new location.
“This provides more focus and more clarity,” Tassopoulos said. “We think [education, hunger and homelessness] are critical issues in communities where we do business in the U.S.”
Along with scholarships for team members and ongoing revitalization initiatives in its hometown of Atlanta, Chick-fil-A anticipates about $32M in cash gifts in 2020.
So, do you think they caved to the pressure of the activists?
Chick-fil-A has done some amazing things — given out sandwiches to first responders after tragedies and natural disasters. They are leaders in the community. Is it enough though? Will these vital charities be able to continue to do the good work that they do without Chick-fil-A’s generous support?