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18 Stellar Food Justice Organizations to support this #GivingTuesday

on November 30, 2015

Shovels. Flip-charts. Conference Calls. Travel. Meeting Rooms. Wheelbarrows. The work to build a just, resilient food system takes a lot of tools, time, and all of us, together!

This #GivingTuesday, Real Food Challenge is highlighting local grassroots organizations who we are lucky to call partners. Our collaboration, coalitions, and community with these organizations powers our work together toward a real food system.

We are highlighting partners who we have worked most closely with this year. Please add to the list, join our gratitude, and share your support for the movement to but a just, resilient food system for all!


1. Migrant Justice

Migrant Justice is a group of Vermont-based farmworkers and community members organizing for the human rights of farmworkers, particularly in Vermont’s dairy industry. Last year, they won a campaign that secured Ben & Jerry’s commitment to a Milk With Dignity code of conduct including dignified wages, scheduling, and housing for dairy farmworkers.

2. Rooted in Community

Rooted in Community represents the next generation of food system and movement leaders. RIC is an organization of young people working on food justice, urban and rural gardening, food security, and environmental justice in communities across the country, who unite annually through a national conference. In 2011, they published a visionary Youth Food Bill of Rights.







3. Farm Aid

“We want to stand with the family farmers in rural places, who are too often forgotten. Farm Aid has a long-standing commitment to connect and support these producers, who we work with to build market access through RFC campaigns” - Katie LeBlanc, RFC Regional Coordinator




4. 5. 6. and 7. Maine Food for UMaine Coalition

For a year, Environment Maine, Maine Farmland Trust, Maine Organic Farmers & Growers Association (MOFGA), Farm to Institution New England, and Real Food Challenge student organizers across UMaine campuses have been organizing for a commitment to real food and Maine-produced food in the 7-campus UMaine system dining contract. These organizations are leading Maine into a real food future!

8. NAMA - Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance

“Who fishes matters! NAMA’s leaders have taught RFC to stand up for a democratic food system on land and sea! We are organizing to increase markets for small-boat fishermen and resist the consolidation of agribusiness in the oceans.” - Estefania Narvaez, RFC Regional Coordinator

9. Citizens Trade Campaign

 “We have to defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It could roll back so much of what we stand for, in supporting local food economies, international fair trade, and food sovereignty. Citizens Trade Campaign has helped us mobilize the RFC network against this potentially disastrous policy.” - Ashley Na, RFC Regional Field Organizing Fellow in Georgia

10. Federation of Southern Co-ops

“The decimation of small farms, coupled with racist loan practices, means that black land ownership has reached a crisis state in the US. The Federation of Southern Co-ops is fighting to save black-owned land with farmer-owned cooperatives. With these leaders we’re developing new economic models for a real food economy.” -David Schwartz, RFC Campaign Director

11. Coalition of Immokalee Workers and 12. Alliance for Fair Food

“The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Alliance for Fair Food have built the road that the food movement walks upon, showing us what it means to build consumer solidarity for fair prices and fair pay for workers and producers, for a New Day in the tomato fields and beyond.” - Anna Hankins, Real Food Calculator Assistant and student leader, UMass-Amherst

13. Soul Fire Farm

This family farm outside Albany, NY was co-founded by a Food Project sister and has grown to be a national leader in the movement for food sovereignty and articulating the connection between land and liberation, especially for black and brown folks (this article is a must read!).  Not only do they provide weekly distribution of organic food for 80 families in marginalized communities, they train 100s of youth and adults in best practices in farming and food sovereignty. You can help them right now with their fundraiser to expand these operations!” - Anim Steel, RFC Executive Director

14. Toxic Taters

Rural, agricultural communities are among those that get a “double dose” of pesticides - exposure in food and also exposure to the pesticide application in conventional agriculture. Toxic Taters is a campaign of communities in Western Minnesota organizing against the health and ecological damage from the pesticide drift from the potato fields of RDO, one of the major potato suppliers of McDonald’s.

15. Humane Society - State Agriculture Councils

“It is invaluable to have farmer and rancher leaders standing with us in university campaigns - we all want to see institutions support the producers truly growing the real food economy in our communities.” - Katie Blanchard, RFC Assistant Director

16. Familias Unidas por la Justicia

“Food harvested for bad wages and under reprehensible working conditions has no place on our plates or in our cafeterias. Familias Unidas por la Justicia is demanding that brands like Driscoll’s and their growers from Washington state to Mexico honor the rights and dignity of farmworkers.” - Emma Brewster, RFC Program Coordinator

17. Central Ohio Worker Center / Centro de Trabajadores de Central Ohio

 "COWC’s support of workers in central Ohio provides a strong example for RFC organizers striving to build power with workers across the food system. COWC’s relationship with RFC has allowed students to connect our struggle for better food on campus to the struggle of so many community members - helping us all to stand united, build together, and advocate for each other.” - Laura Kington, RFC Regional Field Organizing Fellow in Ohio

18. National Young Farmers Coalition

National Young Farmers Coalition represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. They are currently campaigning for farming to be added to the public service loan forgiveness program, to reduce the barrier of student debt - one of so many barriers new farmers face in getting started.