Monday, June 28, 2010

Feed the Children — With E-mail Spam

By Anneli Rufus
Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Chipotle wants to turn junk mail into "junk-free" meals for kids.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, the national burrito chain, launched its "No Junk” campaign last week, encouraging Americans to forward their junk e-mails to nojunk@chipotlejunk.com. Each forwarded piece of e-mail will help provide nutritious cafeteria meals for school children around the country thanks to The Lunch Box, a nonprofit project of the Food Family Farming Foundation.

The more junk e-mails are received, the more money Chipotle will donate. For every 100,000 junk e-mails Chipotle receives, the company will donate $10,000 to The Lunch Box, which will help to give approximately 32 million school children at 100,000 schools nationwide access to 100 school-tested, junk-free recipes created by Chef Ann Cooper, the Berkeley Unified School District's "Renegade Lunch Lady." The “No Junk” campaign launched on June 25 and is slated to run through August, or until Chipotle reaches its goal of 500,000 junk e-mails received, which would result in a donation of $50,000.

“Through our commitment to Food with Integrity, we are making sustainably raised food available and affordable so everyone can eat better,” said Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells. “But better eating should go beyond what we do. With The Lunch Box, we have found a like-minded organization that shares many of our beliefs and is committed to getting better, more sustainable food into our nation’s schools. That is something that’s easy for us to support."

The Food, Family, Farming Foundation was created to change the food system in this country "to an ecologically sound, sustainable model. By empowering schools, families, farms and producers to operate sustainably, F3 enables schools to serve nutritious whole food to all students. F3 educates through training programs, direct services, a Web portal and collateral resources," according to a press release. The foundation's founders include Chef Cooper, the Chez Panisse Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Orfalea Foundations, the Colorado Health Foundation, the Compton Foundation, and Whole Foods Market Inc.

"Our children's health should be our nation's number-one priority,” Cooper said. “I am thrilled that Chipotle is helping get better food into schools with their ‘No Junk’ campaign and its collaboration with The Lunch Box."

According to Chipotle, no e-mail addresses will be automatically captured when junk e-mail is submitted through the campaign, and the content of e-mails will not be read.

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