He looks more like a tenured professor than a zealous consumer advocate. He is soft spoken with round wire glasses and a navy sports coat, a warm smile and gray curly hair. He is Michael Jacobson, executive director and co-founder of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), and at first glance it looks like he’s more likely to serve up a warm cup of tea than a lawsuit.
It usually takes a trade show or the threat of legislation to bring quick-service competitors together, but occasionally the industry puts business aside and rallies around a single cause. In the wake of the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, brands flocked to the Gulf Coast to offer assistance. More than four years later, they again seem to have found a common charitable pursuit.
In the aftermath of the massive earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12, the restaurant industry has responded with various fundraising initiatives to help the devastated Caribbean island nation.
The destruction was “unimaginable,” in the words of Haitian President René Préval, whose presidential palace lay in ruins after an early-morning earthquake that may have killed as many as 200,000 people. The earthquake razed large sections of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, burying countless bodies in the wreckage of collapsed buildings.