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2005 Faith-Based Taco Bell Truth Tour to Demand 'Fair Food'

See Letter of Invitation from NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar and President Thomas Hoyt

January 28, 2005, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- People of faith are serious about “fair food” and ending exploitation of farmworkers. That’s the message that faith-based supporters of the consumer boycott of Taco Bell plan to deliver to Taco Bell’s parent company, Yum Brands, at a mass rally March 12, 2005, at Yum headquarters in Louisville, Ky.

The National Council of Churches USA (NCC) joins with a broad range of organizations in urging people of faith and people of conscience from around the nation to converge on Louisville for this peaceful rally organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, whose members pick tomatoes that go into Taco Bell products.

The NCC and five of its member denominations are among religious and secular groups backing the Taco Bell boycott, which the CIW called in 2001. The CIW points out that Yum Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company, has the power to stop human rights abuses in the fields where its produce is grown and picked. Instead, they say, the company “pools the buying power of its five major chain brands (Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver, and A&W Restaurants) to demand the lowest possible prices from their suppliers, exerting a powerful downward pressure on wages and working conditions in their suppliers' operations.”

The March 12 rally is the culmination of the 2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour, Feb. 28-March 14, which will take farmworkers on a route from Immokalee, Fla., through the South and Midwest, ending in Louisville for a “Week of Action” and the mass rally.

Last year’s Truth Tour and Rally brought top executives at Yum to the table. “As they judge the rally this year, they will be asking if their customers really care or if they can continue with business as usual,” says the Rev. Noelle Damico, a United Church of Christ minister working with the Presbyterian Church (USA) on the boycott, “Will this be the year Yum decides to use its power to end the exploitation? It’s really up to us.”

Read more about the tour/rally and background on the boycott at


NCC Media Contact: Carol Fouke

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