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Phone: 510-654-4400
Food First
398 60th St

California 94618
2013 Top-rated nonprofits and charities

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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.

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.
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.

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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 ... more »
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 ... more »
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... more »
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