Informed by his Franciscan Community of an important Lenten advocacy campaign for slave-free seafood, Fr. Edwin Robinson, OFM, Director of Pastoral Care at Cabrini of Westchester, was compelled to raise awareness. He shared the Lenten initiative led by the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking (CCOAHT) with Patricia Krasnausky, President and CEO, and, together, they brought the campaign to the Cabrini community.
In honor of the Year of Mercy, Ms. Krasnausky ordered and distributed over 500 hundred pre-paid postcards addressed to two of the largest distributors of seafood: Costco and Starkist. The message on the postcards read: “Catholics want slave-free seafood this year, and will be vigilant about this as we observe Lent. We, therefore, kindly urge you to do all in your power to ensure that your supply chains are free of the taint of forced labor.”
Ms. Krasnausky had the postcards signed by many employees of Cabrini of Westchester as well as those in attendance of the Cabrini Day of Prayer, Restoration and Renewal held at Cabrini College. Many were stunned to learn that the United States imports 80-90% of its seafood, and tens of thousands of people are exploited at every link in the seafood harvesting and production chain.
As a result of Cabrini’s participation, we received the following feedback from CCOAHT. “Over 15,000 cards were mailed, which exceeded the goals of the campaign. As a result, the National Fisheries Institute contacted the US Bishops Conference and a meeting is scheduled to occur in May. This contact means that the mail campaign had an effect. The initial meeting is the first step in the effort re halting the human trafficking situation in shrimp and fish farming.”
Therefore, all the individuals who signed and mailed in postcards made a significant contribution to the campaign. Thank you, and God bless one and all!