INSTITUTE FOR FOOD AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY INC

Rating: 4.7 stars   54 reviews

Issues: Food, International

Location: Food First 398 60th St Oakland CA 94618 USA

Mission: The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First shapes how people think by analyzing the root causes of global hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation and developing solutions in partnership with movements working for social change.
Results: Promotion of the concepts of the basic human right to food and food sovereignty ("right of peoples to define their own food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries systems). Publicizing the success of people who are pursuing the dream of local, sustainable food systems.
Target demographics: Young people of all ages who support access for all people to quality, culturally appropriate food.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Buy Seeds and Pumps for Gao, Mali & funded habitat restoration to bring back bees
Geographic areas served: International, national, local
Programs: Food First Programs: A Three-pronged Approach In an effort to integrate our work for food sovereignty across rural-urban and local-global arenas, nationally and internationally, Food First divides its work into three Program Areas: 1. Building Local Agri-Foods Systems In the United States, the livelihood struggles of low-income, African-American, Native-American, Latino-American, Asian-American and immigrant communities are at the center of our programs for food justice and agricultural sustainability. Low-income people of color are mobilizing locally, forming national coalitions, drafting legislation, and reaching out internationally in their efforts to build healthy, equitable, food systems that contribute to the social and economic development of their communities. The main challenge to obtaining healthy affordable food in low-income communities is overcoming the ?industrial agri-foods divide? that separates sustainable producers from low-income consumers. Food First?s ?added value? in this effort resides in our ability to produce information, analysis and learning materials that help people improve and control their own food systems. Our research informs and documents these experiences, contributing directly to the national and global debates on food and development. In Oakland, California, we are working closely with local food activists to establish a Food Policy Council. As part of this partnership, we will carry out a Market Gap Study in West Oakland, a study of Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned, and an Assessment of Bay Area Food System Assessments. Nationally, Food First is participating in efforts to build a national coalition of urban communities of color for food security. 2. Farmers Forging Food Sovereignty Dismantling the industrial agri-foods complex at the local food system level must be accompanied by the construction of alternatives that suit the needs of small-scale producers and low-income consumers, worldwide. Farmers Forging Food Sovereignty focuses on farmer alternatives to corporate control over production and consumption. The strategy is to help farmer movements for food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture document and share their alternatives among broad sectors of the rural and urban population to create political will and advance peasant-led food system alternatives. Our active projects in this program area include: The Campesino a Campesino GMO Education Project in Mexico and Central America, and our coalition work with Vía Campesina. 3. Democratizing Development: Land, Resources and Markets Social movements in the Global South are fighting for indigenous and peasant rights, land reform, sustainable agriculture, clean water, fair prices for agricultural goods, and freedom from foreign ?dumping? and GMO contamination. This program area focuses on the structural causes of hunger and poverty, and bridges the gap between transnational advocacy and local control over food system resources. Like other program areas it links critiques of the corporate-dominated food systems with farmer and consumer-led alternatives that ensure justice, equity and ecological sustainability. Our projects include the campaign for African Alternatives to the Gates-Rockefeller Alliance for a Green Revolution, and No full tanks with Empty Bellies: The Food and Fuel Sovereignty Campaign, and El Camino del Migrante: Immigrants and the Struggle for Food Sovereignty.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Interning at Food First was an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience. Not only did I feel like my research was valuable, but also it defined what I want to do. Furthermore, the people are wonderful and really smart and cooking and eating lunch together was always a blast. I am very grateful for this experience and would recommend it.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I interned with Food First during the winter of 2013 and I continue to be incredibly grateful for the experience. The Food First staff is intelligent, inspiring and welcoming. The work is radical and important. My time with Food First set the tone of and direction for the academic and professional path that I pursue today.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I am the Chairperson of Food Sovereignty Ghana. My attention and interest in the struggle against the threats posed by the pesticides and herbicides promoted by the agro-chemical industry under the guise of GMOs owe so much to the excellent work by Food First! I have been reading with keen interest in their works and publications, particularly on Africa. It is very rare to come by such useful insights anywhere else.

--
Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah,
Chairperson, FSG

Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I did my graduate thesis with Food First about 9 years ago! I got to work with amazing people like Peter Rosset and Raj Patel, who at the time I did not even imagine could be as influencial as they are today. I learned so much from them, their analysis skills and professionalism, but most importantly their commitment and dedication, which has served to inspire me since.
I went on to pursue food work in the field and then at the policy level in the EU. The experience at Food First undoubtedly laid teh foundation for this success

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2003

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Rating: 5 stars  

I interned for Food First my last semester of college. It is, to this day, my absolute favorite and most influential job/ internship I have ever had- and trust me I have had a lot of jobs and internships. At Food First they got to know me as an individual and worked with me to develop research and work that reflected my areas of expertise. With that focus I was able to write a body of research that made an impact on the areas of food justice and sovereignty that meant a lot to me- specifically the efficacy of GMO foods.
If I still lived in the East Bay I would continue to volunteer for them. The staff really, honestly, care about their interns and each other. It is an incredibly positive and inspiring environment.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

I interned with Food First and the Oakland Food Policy Council. I had a great time learning about the food system in the Bay Area. Everyone at the organization is extremely friendly and helpful!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

Interning with Food First was an amazing experience. You are surrounded by brilliant, passionate people that are so dedicated to food and social justice, it's inspiring. The environment is very supportive, collaborative and family-like. It's a great opportunity for someone who is self-starting, and motivated. There is lots of flexibility within the intern role- if you have an area you'd like to work on, if you'd like to work on an existing project, etc. The role can very dynamic.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If i did it again, I would go in with more direction about where I wanted to take the research and additionally, I think my experience there would have been better suited to my Master's research versus my undergrad research. Food First could make it more clear that there is not a huge capacity for staff to provide a lot of direction.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 4 stars  

Food First does great work, which is what attracted me to apply to be an intern. Working on several types of tasks allowed me at 24 years old to hone in on what I was most interested. Attending staff meetings I was able to get a sense of how a small nonprofit works. I was drawn to tabling events, but worked alongside people doing grantwriting, others who spend their time working on publishing articles that ultimately helped them get into Graduate School, and even sprucing up the garden out front so we could practice what we preach. The staff is approachable and imbued with a determination to help create a world without hunger. I highly recommend an internship at Food First! I will never look at Food System issues the same way after my time at Food First.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Somehow find the way to pay interns, even a small amount.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered and worked with a number of non-profits, however Food First was by far the only non-profit which left me with a feeling of complete admiration and respect. They stick by their beliefs and pore their heart and sole into the work they do. I am so grateful for all the inspirational people I met at Food First.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Food First is not only a fantastic organization with amazing, dedicated people, it's an invaluable asset to the food justice movement. It is a great place if you want a meaningful internship that keeps you engaged, learning, and active in the food justice movement. The work they produce is insightful, well researched, and meaningful. On all fronts, this is a wonderful organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?