Chick-fil-A has denied that it is appeasing its critics with its new philanthropic structure revealed on Monday.
“Beginning in 2020 the Chick-fil-A Foundation will introduce a more focused giving approach, donating to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of hunger, homelessness and education,” a Chick-fil-A representative told The Christian Post on Monday.
“The intent of charitable giving from the Chick-fil-A Foundation is to nourish the potential in every child.”
“Our goal is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger. No organization will be excluded from future consideration — faith-based or non-faith based,” the representative added.
According to an exclusive report from Bisnow, under the new giving plan, the company will no longer be donating to organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Paul Anderson Youth Home — all Christian organizations that hold to the biblical view of marriage.
The Salvation Army tweeted a statement in response on Monday.
“We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homeless organizations — areas in which the Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed. We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community,” the statement read.
— Salvation Army USA (@SalvationArmyUS) November 18, 2019
“When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor is at risk.”
Many others criticized Chick-fil-A’s recent move. Writing in The American Conservative, Rod Dreher called the move “a gutless surrender.”
“Chick-fil-A has managed to become the third-biggest fast-food chain in the US, despite earning so much progressive hatred for honoring what its leadership once claimed was fidelity to ‘a much higher calling,’” he wrote.
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“But now, in 2019, as it sits near the summit of business success, Chick-fil-A suddenly finds that it can no longer afford to follow that ‘higher calling,’ and is cutting the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes off.
“And it’s a lesson to all of us. The LGBT lobby, and their progressive allies, will never, ever leave you alone. Never.”
Until the most recent change, Chick-fil-A had donated to over 300 charitable groups. It will now donate to just three charities within each city the chain does business in, with each charity being linked to a core initiative: education, homelessness and hunger.
In its statement, Chick-fil-A described it as a “more focused giving approach.”
This change in donation structure comes as the restaurant, which has doubled its sales since 2012, expands its presence into various cities and even internationally.
“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 told Bisnow. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
Chick-fil-A has cultivated an image of philanthropy and Christian values, along with quality food and consistent customer service, but ever since CEO Dan Cathy said in 2012 that he believes in the Biblical definition of marriage being between a man a woman, the restaurant has been targeted by those who have attempted to characterize the company as anti-gay.