Fast Food Gets Charitable

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If you were hoping to get your mom a hamburger-scented candle for Mother’s Day, then you’re about to be disappointed. White Castle has officially sold out of its charity novelty item – a candle that smells like your favorite fast food burger. (Don’t worry, the burger chain will let you know when it’s back in stock … if you sign up for its Cravers Club.)

The candle is actually part of a promotion that celebrates National Hamburger Month. The $10 items were supposed to be on sale for the entire month of May with the proceeds benefitting Autism Speaks, a New York-based autism advocacy organization.  (You have to wonder if the burger candles sold out because people really supported the charity or because it’s potentially the best gag Mother’s Day gift in history. We’d like to think it’s both.)  

White Castle’s promotion marks the second time this month that a fast food chain has gone philanthropic.  KFC is currently running a promotion with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For each specially designed pink bucket of grilled and Original Recipe chicken sold, 50 cents will be donated to the breast cancer awareness organization. The chain has promised a minimum donation of $1 million with a goal to raise $8 million before the promotion ends May 30.  

KFC’s charitable efforts have not been as well-received as White Castle’s.  Critics have accused the chain of “pink-washing,” a term coined by activists for when companies stick a pink ribbon on products that can actually put consumers at risk for the disease. KFC, which almost simultaneously released its fat-laden and sodium-infused Double Down sandwich, is being called out because obesity increases a woman’s chances of developing cancer. Maybe that’s why pink buckets are still in stock.  

You think White Castle will come out with bacon scented bubble bath any time soon?

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