Fast from Fast Food: ‘Values of justice are faith values — they’re one in the same’

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In Boston, you’re never too far away from a Dunkin’ Donuts. In fact, the Massachusetts-based company inspires a fiery sense of loyalty in many Bostonians. It’s kind of hard to give up the city’s ubiquitous fast food staple, but Paul Drake is committed.

“As somebody who’s pretty poor at fasting, it’s been hard,” said Drake, executive director and lead organizer at Massachusetts Interfaith Worker Justice. “Here in Boston, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner…it’s easy to see the convenience that is fast food. But it’s actually been a really good teaching moment for me — I do this work every day, but the simple act of fasting reminds you how much hunger is a reality for many working people.”

Drake is among the many people nationwide participating in the Fast from Fast Food, a 40-day fast that coincides with the Christian season of Lent and is being organized in support of fast food workers. From Feb. 18 through April 4, faith leaders along with worker advocates and supporters are pledging to give up fast food to help bring attention to the struggles of working families and the impact of poverty wages. In particular, the fasting campaign is in support of Fight for $15, a growing movement of fast food workers nationwide who are taking to the streets to fight for living wages, better working conditions and the right to form a union without fear of retaliation.

Rudy López, executive director of the national office of Interfaith Worker Justice, said Lent — a time of sacrifice, reflection and prayer — was the perfect opportunity to elevate and highlight the struggles of workers. He emphasized that people of all faiths are encouraged to join the very first Fast from Fast Food.

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