As the mother of a 3-year-old and nearly 3-month-old, the last thing I have time for at the moment is organizing a nurse-in to persuade Fred Meyer's management to stop harrassing nursing mamas, but it may come down to that. I have contacted Krogers, current owner of Freddies, explaining that I would like them to change their policy company-wide so that mothers can nurse at their stores without being told to cover up. If I don't hear back from them in a week or so, I'll start organizing a nurse-in and share my story with the local news.
In the meantime, if you too would like to write to Freddies, I think it would help if they heard from other customers. Here is what I am specifically asking from them:
1) To make a clear company-wide policy that mothers have a right to breastfeed in their stores without being asked to move, hide, cover up, or leave.
2) To train all employees that breastfeeding is different from other behaviors that customers might complain about (such as loud music, offensive language, etc.), and that employees are never to ask a breastfeeding mother to move, hide, cover up, or leave. Instead employees can advise the complaining customer to avert their eyes or move to a different part of the store.
3) To make the public aware of this policy.
An interesting bit of trivia I learned this week...Oregon has the highest breastfeeding rates in the country. Over 75% of new mothers start nursing their babies. That's a LOT of Fred Meyer customers!
You can contact Fred Meyer by snail mail:
Darrell Webb, President
GO West 1/Customer Relationship Center
3800 SE 22nd
Portland, OR 97202
Or via the Web:
Fred Meyer Customer Comments
Please let me know if you write a letter. I'd like to keep a count of how many letters they're getting and also to thank you!!