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 One World Everybody Eats foundation is a non-profit organization that runs a series of cafes that operate on a pay-what-you-can model. The cafes are sourced with organic local produce and have rotating menus of tasty options. Founder Denise Ceretta came up with the concept for these cafes in 2003 and opened her first pay-what-you-can, self-service operation in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ceretta pays her workers a living wage and also engages many volunteers from the community.
- Gods Love We Deliver prepares over 4,000 meals a day for individuals in the tri-state area who are suffering from life-altering illness. GLWD provides meals for free to patients, their children, and their caregivers. Meals are delivered within 24 hours of ordering. The organization depends on over 7,600 volunteers each year. The organization was founded in 1985 and has been steadily expanding ever since.
- Fair Food Philly works to connect local producers with chefs, institutions, and retailers in the Philadelphia area. The organization works with wholesale buyers to build purchasing plans that emphasize local food. It also runs a "double dollars" program that matches SNAP benefits at its farmstand. The farmstand is located in the Reading Terminal Market and highlights local producers. FFP has been working in local agriculture since 2001.
- In Lexington, Kentucky, Faith Feeds equips local residents with the skills to grow, glean, and preserve fresh produce. This produce is then donated to agencies and institutions that work on alleviating hunger in the area. The organization estimates that about 1 in 7 people are food insecure or lack access to healthy food in the Lexington area, and over 15,000 families receive emergency food service in Eastern Kentucky each week. Since June 2010, Faith Feeds has gleaned almost 160,000 pounds of food that has improved the quality of life for those requiring emergency food services.
- Maine is an agricultural state and many organizations are thinking about how to improve sustainability in the area. In 2006, GE-Free Main and the Independent Food Project combined to form Food for Maine's Future, an organization dedicated to thinking about food sovereignty within the state. FFMF is closely allied with La Via Campesina, a network of food sovereignty organizations, and provides workshops, resources, and community for farmers across the area.
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.