© 2024 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Des Moines Latino Group Condemns Free Hot Dog Giveaway

Seven hotdogs are grilling on a black grill.
Felipe Souza
The national #boycottmeat campaign started as a way to protect workers in meat packing plants who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The campaign designates meat as an inessential resource during the pandemic.

Hot dogs are a summer staple that most people wouldn’t give a second thought to. But a Latino organization in Des Moines is frustrated about a hot dog giveaway to essential workers.

Smithfield's Farmer John meat company based in California is the host of a “Thank You Tour” with the goal of handing out one million free hot dogs to essential workers. This, according to one Latino nonprofit group, disregards the at-risk lives of the meat plant workers. Forward Latino’s vice president and director Joe Enriquez Henry in Des Moines said the tour is a “cruel irony.”

In a Facebook Live event, Henry said "it makes no sense. It’s a slap in the face of science and it’s uncalled for. We do not condone this and we know that many workers and unions would not condone this at this point in time.”

Henry spearheaded the national meat boycott in an attempt to protect meat plant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meat plants have been known to be hotspots for the virus.

“Workers are dying. Of course animals have been killed in order to serve this unessential food material and this needs to stop," Henry said.

In a press release, Smithfield said the tour is meant to “show appreciation for businesses that have remained open to ensure communities stay safe, healthy, and have access to much-needed resources.”

Kassidy was a reporter based in Des Moines