Food for Change: 5 Food Groups Doing Great Work

Food for Change

Profiles on causes and organizations that are addressing issues of poverty, poor health, and food access.

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.

  • In San Francisco, Three Square Meals is working to encourage healthy eating and educate around issues of sustainable food. Their free, six-week-long classes are available to low-income communities and cover how to shop for and prepare healthy, fresh produce. Three Squares has several volunteers who participate in teaching these classes. They also encourage supporters to host fundraising dinners on behalf of the organization—find out more at their website.
  • Plenty of studies and anecdotes have shown that having dinner as a family can improve children's self-esteem, performance in school, behavior, and health. The Family Dinner Project's goal is to provide resources and support for families who are attempting to add more family dinners into their weeks. They encourage parents to set attainable goals for improving the quality of their food or dinner conversation, and provide resources on engaging kids in the cooking and eating process. The group provides a helpful framework for achieving an important but tricky family goal.
  • The Generation Food Project is telling the stories of communities across the globe who are building creative solutions to the issue of worldwide hunger. A joint effort of filmmaker Steve James and food activist Raj Patel, GFP shows small-scale but important advancements in food sustainability. The movie and book project is being funded through small donations from supporters at IndieGoGo. They have already raised $30,000 to support their work.
  • Since 1990, the Careers in the Culinary Arts Program has provided culinary and jobs training to high school students in underserved communities. Many students of the C-CAP program have gone on to successful careers in the culinary arts. C-CAP is based out of New York, but also has programs in California, Arizona, Chicago, Philadelphia, and more. The program provides students with scholarship opportunities, college and career advising, and internships as well as a support network of other aspiring chefs.
  • ProjectEATS is a New York City network of farms run by community activists, farmers, and artists. The project is based on the principle that communities can create what they need from their surrounding environment. Each of their seven urban farms is managed by community members. The project is working on compiling video footage and art from the various farms to share on their website and in exhibits. Their food is sold at community markets and to restaurants.

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.