Chick-fil-A announced new plans for their charitable donations after coming under fire for supporting alleged anti-LGBTQ+ organizations in the past.
The fast food company said on Monday that they will no longer donate funds to The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018,” a spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A told Thomas Reuters Foundation.
Instead, the company’s website states that Chick-fil-A Foundation is “working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness, and hunger” for 2020, and is committing $9 million to the initiative.
The website specifies which charities they will be working with: Junior Achievement USA and Covenant House International on the issues of education and homelessness, and the company also plans to donate $25,000 to a local food bank at every Chick-fil-A opening.
“The Foundation will no longer make multiyear commitments and will reassess philanthropic partnerships annually to allow maximum impact,” further explains the site. “These partnerships could include faith-based and non-faith-based charities.”
Chick-fil-A has faced backlash in the past for their charitable decisions. In March, the fast food company received scrutiny following a report from ThinkProgress, which revealed that in 2017 the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes requires a “sexual purity” policy for its employees, according to its job application. “The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts,” it reads. “Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.”
The Paul Anderson Youth Home allegedly “teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is ‘rage against Jesus Christ and His values,’” ThinkProgress reported.
The company also donated $115,000 to The Salvation Army in 2018. The Christian organization has a history of alleged anti-LGBTQ+ behavior, but insists they offer support to all people regardless of sexual orientation.
“We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations — areas in which The Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed,” they said in a statement. “We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population.”
Due to the donations, consumers have continuously arranged boycotts of the fast-food giant. The most recent was in October at the opening of the first U.K. Location. Protests were held by local LGBTQ+ rights group Reading Pride. Shortly after, Chick-fil-A announced that the location will close once the lease is up in six months.
In March, the Chick-fil-A Foundation released a statement appearing to respond to the ThinkProgress report, in which they asserted that they “do not have a political or social agenda.”