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GoFundMe campaign raising money to buy Goya products for food pantries surpasses $127,000

The fundraiser comes after some called for a Goya boycott over positive comments the company's president and CEO made about President Trump.

July 13, 2020 7:23pm

Updated: July 13, 2020 11:27pm

A GoFundMe campaign soliciting funds to purchase Goya products for food pantries near the nation's capital has surpassed $127,000 as the Hispanic food company has become a focus of cultural contention.

"Buy GOYA — Support Trump & Feed the Hungry," the fundraiser headline reads.

"What if we rise up to say no to cancel culture AND feed the hungry at the same time?" a portion of the campaign description declares.

At the time of this writing, the amount raised by the campaign was still climbing.

Calls for a boycott of the company came after Goya CEO Bob Unanue, whose grandfather founded the company in 1936, made positive comments about President Trump at a Thursday White House event related to a Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.

"We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder," Unanue declared during the event. "And that's what my grandfather did, he came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper. And so we have an incredible builder, and we pray, we pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow."

Former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, who previously served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration, on Thursday urged Americans to "think twice" prior to purchasing Goya's goods. 

Progressive icon Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, also expressed her displeasure on Thursday: "Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling 'how to make your own Adobo,'" she tweeted

Unanue during a Friday interview with "Fox and Friends" defended his decisions and noted that he had previously engaged with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. When asked about the boycott targeting Goya, Unanue remarked that "it's suppression of speech." 

Republicans including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and President Trump came out in support of the food company.

Casey Harper, the 27-year-old Virginian who launched the fundraising campaign, spoke to Fox Business: "People are seeing in the news a double standard for one political view," Harper said. "Americans are fundamentally generous people. … I'm not surprised we have raised so much because people are tired of having to walk on eggshells in political discourse." 

"In a time where speaking your mind can cost you your job, or get you facing legal action because the corporate elite fear the mob just as much as anyone, the most important issue is to speak boldly at the risk of your own well-being," he said, according to the news outlet. "If enough people do that, lovers of free speech and limited government will win."

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