A coalition of organizations, educators and health professionals launched a new campaign Wednesday aimed at putting pressure on McDonald's and "other junk food corporations" to end their marketing campaigns toward children in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
National Nurses United, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and the Food Chain Worker's Alliance are among the groups participating in the campaign, which also seeks to strengthen CPS' existing Healthy Snack and Beverage Policy and Local School Wellness Policy.
"McDonald's food and marketing is driving the nation's epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and a myriad of other health issues," said coalition member and CPS parent Tracey Dobson. "The teachers in our schools and the children in our communities are being used by a corporation that has neither an ethical nor moral compass."
The group is taking aim at McDonald's, in part, for its McTeacher's Nights fundraising events, during which educators stand behind the counter at a McDonald's for a period of time. In return, their schools receive a portion of the sales. Over the past two years, at least 49 McTeacher's Night events were held in the Chicago area, according to the coalition.
Teachers unions across the country, including the Chicago Teachers Union, urged McDonald's to end its McTeacher's Nights last October in an open letter to the company.
"McDonald's, one of the richest corporations in the world, seeks to exploit the budget crisis by hosting fundraisers that prey on cash-strapped schools " added Shannon Leap, an organizer with the Value [the] Meal campaign at Corporate Accountability International. "As we work to find solutions to the many challenges facing Chicago's schools, we have to ensure that children's health is put before McDonald's bottom line."