FOOD EMPOWERMENT PROJECT

Rating: 4.96 stars   51 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Animals, Food

Location: PO Box 7071 % Lauren Ornelas San Jose CA 95150 USA

Mission:
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 26-1743952
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) is a unique and vital organization.

It’s rare enough to find advocates for non-human animals who care about workers; it’s even more rare to find worker advocates who pay any attention at all to animal issues.

And it’s more or less unheard of for such activists to take a worlds-system view of environmental toxins, industrial production, the larger food system and what it means for social justice efforts in our communities.

In the market glut of nonprofits vying for dwindling funding, that’s a bit of a tall order. Yet F.E.P. does all of that and more, with little more than a dedicated volunteer staff and a mission that our “food choices really can change the world.”

By positioning its advocacy at the intersections of struggles, F.E.P. challenges us. In accessible language and total honesty, it asks, “What do worker’s rights and animal rights have to say to each other? What about local food justice and global food sovereignty? What does your store sell? Why? What does it mean for cocoa to be ‘ethically-sourced?’ What about the farmworkers who harvest your dinner?”

F.E.P. relentlessly forces these issues, to its great credit. There is literally no else doing it, certainly not with a vegan focus and not with an intentional attempt to make it accessible to a wider popular community.

They are utterly essential to ongoing efforts for social change. Give them all your money.

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have never known a group like this. I see them as huge advocates for all beings in our community, both human and animal. Their work ethic is impeccable and I have learned from them to be much more affective in my own campaigns. Such a simple yet profound concept...that our food choices make tremendous changes in so many areas of our communties.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

learning how to be more affecticein my personal campaigns and other volunteering

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?

Some

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?

2012

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

yes above. and yes new friends

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Rating: 5 stars  

There are a lot of remarkable nonprofits out there. Some help animals (even those raised for food). Some work on issues affecting humans, such as health, workers' rights, or slavery. Still others work to improve the environment. Food Empowerment Project is the only organization I know of that works on all these issues. That this work is done as an all-volunteer nonprofit is simply astounding. I am privileged to help them in any way I can.

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

Give them a million-dollar grant. Their work is invaluable and deserves not only recognition but serious funding.

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

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I think they could use one more volunteer to help with social media.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Before I volunteered, I thought human slavery was a thing of the past. Through my work at F.E.P., I've learned that slavery is alive and well in the chocolate and other industries.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel very valued and appreciated -- more so than I have in any paid job, ever.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Food Empowerment Project is such an effective food justice organization because it focuses on the interconnected issues of human rights, animal rights, and environmental justice. When I have tabeled for F.E.P as a volunteer, I will undoubtedly speak with: a social justice advocate who didn't realize the suffering caused by factory farming for both workers and farmed animals -- or an animal rights activist who, after hearing Founder lauren Ornelas' talk, is informed & empowered to purchase foods that are not only free of animal suffering, but free of human slavery (example: http://www.foodispower.org/slavery_chocolate.htm). F.E.P not only raises awareness, they provide simple tools to take action and make a difference (http://www.foodispower.org/takeaction.htm). F.E.P. unites all behind a common cause of seeking a more just and sustainable world.

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

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Led by founder lauren Ornelas, the Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one's food choices. F.E.P. encourages healthy food choices that reflect a more compassionate society by spotlighting the abuse of animals on farms, the depletion of natural resources, unfair working conditions for produce workers, and the unavailability of healthy foods in low-income areas. lauren Ornelas speaks with passion and solid facts to enlighten others of the consequences of their food choices, and what they can do to make the world and better place for people and animals.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing people's shock when they learn they are supporting human slavery by buying chocolate, and then deciding to only support companies F.E.P. has endorsed as slave-free. F.E.P.'s extensive research into chocolate sources has put the pressure on companies to be ethical and transparent.

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

Clone lauren... :) and experiment with different fundraising tactics so we can raise more money to print our literature, etc. (Example: $20 or greater donation = free F.E.P. t-shirt"). Organize more field trips (and advertise widely) to farmworker organizations such as ALBA and Center for Farmworker Families to learn who about who grows/harvests our food and how.

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Rating: 4 stars  

I helped collect data on grocery stores in various areas. I tabled for FEP at a vegan Earth Day celebration.
Raising people's awareness of their food sources, including dark issues like chocolate slavery, is very important.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

in speaking to people who were otherwise unfamiliar with issues such as chocolate slavery or how dangerous slaughterhouses are.

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

Nothing comes to mind.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have done some graphic design work as well as some writing for the Food Empowerment Project and found the experience to be great. One of the groups strengths, in the capacity that I worked with them, was the clarity with which my duties were assigned. In the writing project I knew who the audience was, what the voice should be, exact word count, and so forth. This helped me immensely and saved the group lots of time as I didn't have to rewrite or restructure what I had done after turning in a first draft. My experience with the design work I did was very similar in that what was expected of me and what was expected of the design I did were very clear. It was also nice to work with a group who understand the value of graphic design and polished writing as tools to being taken more seriously. I found the Food Empowerment Project to be very professional in this regard, and I find this is lacking in a lot of groups trying to make a difference.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that I learned a lot about food justice issues I've been able to share with others. We also help distribute literature from the Food Empowerment Project in our own company.

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

fund them better and built up more staff so the work could move forward faster.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I feel very fortunate to be part of the Food Empowerment Project. I volunteer with a number of organizations, but no one else is working on the intersectionality of so many social-justice issues, and they all relate to food: environmental racism, animal rights, slavery, the environment, and more. You’d think that tackling all this would be too much for a small non-profit, but no. This is a truly astounding group of volunteers, all of whom dedicate untold hours of their time toward encouraging healthy food choices and creating a more just and sustainable planet. I am so proud to be a part of this effort.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the group's founder, lauren Ornelas, giving many talks, and she always inspires people. I love seeing the look on someone's face when they realize how their choices really do make a difference.

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

Donate more money to help them grow and become even more effective!

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

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I wish I had more opportunities to do hands-on work with them.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I've made new friends.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Like I'm making a real difference.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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