Chick-Fil-A charity ends aid to groups criticized as anti-gay

Donald Moore

The foundation associated with the chicken chain Chick-fil-A Inc. is changing its charity strategy, ending donations to some organizations that have been criticized by LGBTQ activists, the company said on Monday.

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,” according to a news release. The company said its foundation’s only beneficiaries in 2020 will be Covenant House International, Junior Achievement of America and local community food banks where Chick-fil-A opens new locations.

Chick-fil-A has about 2,400 locations, mainly in the U.S.

Controversial past recipients like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes will no longer be included. The shift in the foundation’s focus was reported Monday by the news website Bisnow.

Glaad, the media advocacy group for LGBT people, responded to the announcement, saying in a statement that in addition to changing its charitable donations strategy, “Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents.”

Chick-fil-A has drawn fire in recent years for Chief Executive Officer Dan Cathy’s stance opposing gay marriage. While he was chief operating officer, Cathy made a series of controversial remarks on the topic, prompting activists to stage protests. Opposition has flared anew as the company has expanded in urban markets like New York City.

Chick-fil-A has faced new competition this year from Popeye’s headline-grabbing chicken sandwiches, and McDonald’s continues to refine its rival offerings.

The family-owned chicken chain was founded by S. Truett Cathy, who died five years ago. It has about 2,400 locations, mainly in the U.S., according to its website. It keeps its restaurants closed on Sundays to give workers a break and for worship, the website states.