Editor's note: In "Food for Change," we'll profile groups out there connecting people to better food access. In this series we want to applaud the passionate people and organizations doing meaningful work with food in their communities. Please share tips for others to include in this column in the comments below.
- The Fair Food Network in Ann Arbor, Michigan, works on increasing healthy food access and creating better policy to feed local residents. Their Double Up Food Bucks program matches SNAP benefits that are used at farmer's markets in the state, but now FFN is expanding the program to grocery stores as well. Their pilot program will launch in three grocery stores, where SNAP recipients will be able to buy twice as many vegetables with their benefits. The program is meant to improve access for individuals or families who might not be able to regularly attend the state's farmers markets.
- RockCanRoll is a group based out of Jericho, New York, that works on getting food, housewares and other goods to people who need them. By collaborating with rock concerts, school events, and corporations, RCR gathers large amounts of donations for needy or struggling communities. The group is always looking for new events and organizations to partner with. You can donate at high-profile concerts by stars like Train and Maroon 5, or through their website.
- The Hunger Project is a worldwide organization that attempts to flip the traditional model of international food aid on its head. Rather than provide top-down services that require much bureaucracy and often don't reach their target population, the group focuses on an empowerment model. They work with communities at the grassroots level to advocate for their own needs, and focus on women as important change agents and providers. THP works in Asia, Africa and Latin America to increase food sovereignty in those areas.
- Loren Brill began baking healthy treats after she recovered from cancer in 2007. She perfected her recipes, which contain no refined sugars or white flours, and soon won her first baking contest. She then founded Sweet Loren's, which sells her ready-to-bake products in stores and online. The brownies and cookies arrive frozen, making it easy to fill your house with the smells of freshly baked sweets. A portion of all sales go to Cookies for Kids' Cancer.
- Share Our Strength has been working to end childhood hunger since 1984. They provide funding for local organizations addressing hunger in their communities, educate the public on the pervasive issue of childhood hunger in America, and help families learn to choose and cook healthy foods. Their goal is to end childhood hunger by 2015. You can learn how to help them with a pledge on their website.
About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her work has also been featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.