In the past few days, Chick-fil-A has come under fire, yet again. In an interview with Bisnow, the company’s President and COO, Tim Tassopoulos, stated they will no longer support certain Christian charities which includes Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and a few others. So far, FCA has not released any statements, however, the Salvation Army responded saying they were saddened by the ending of the support. In the past, the Salvation Army has been branded as an “anti-LGBTQ” organization. According to their website, however, it states how they serve the LGBTQ community, including a 6-minute video testimonial, where one could draw a different conclusion, or several, depending on one’s perception.
In 2018, the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $115K to the Salvation Army and $1.65M to the FCA, according to a tax form filed Friday with the IRS. A company spokesperson said the donations were the last of multiyear commitments to the two groups.
Backlash from both the left and right, including well-known Christian political leaders such as Governor Mike Huckabee came via social media, and conservative journalists, released op-ed’s voicing their criticism of Chick-fil-A’s decision.
In Aug 2012, I coordinated a national @ChickfilA Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups. Millions showed up. Today, @ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 18, 2019
In light of the backlash from both liberals and conservatives, Chick-fil-A was contacted by Christian Post on Monday to attain clarification.
Chick-fil-A released a statement in response can be found on their website:
Starting in 2020, the Chick-fil-A Foundation is introducing a more focused giving approach to provide additional clarity and impact with the causes it supports. Staying true to its mission of nourishing the potential in every child, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger.
Today we are excited to announce the Foundation has committed $9 million to the following initiatives for 2020:
- Education: To support education, we are expanding our partnership with Junior Achievement USA (JA). JA offers kindergarten to 12th grade programs that foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential. The organization reaches nearly 5 million students annually.
- Homelessness: To address youth homelessness, we are expanding our partnership with Covenant House International. For more than four decades, Covenant House has helped transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway and trafficked young people – reaching 70,000 youth each year.
- Hunger: To fight hunger, we will support more than 120 communities by dedicating $25,000 to a local food bank at each new Chick-fil-A opening.
While Chick-fil-A posted their statement online, it seems many conservative voices have chosen to criticize the company’s reasons, remaining focused on who they are no longer supporting. It also appears that a critical point is being overlooked, which is–the company will continue giving to faith-based charities, feed the poor at the local levels, and more.