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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Food Empowerment Project

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Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first came across the Food Empowerment Project when I was researching on ethical chocolate. I immediately fell in love with the organization and it's mission. Finally an organization that recognizes how entangled food, health, the animals, the environment, and the workers are. We cannot fix our broken food system by tackling single issues and the Food Empowerment Project understands this.

I appreciate how much impact the Food Empowerment Project has made as a volunteer organization. Without hesitation I decided that I needed to help out where I could. This started with donating to the organization and now volunteering with them. Lauren, the founder, is incredibly intelligent as well as kind and compassionate. I continually learn from her and enjoy volunteering with the Food Empowerment Project.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

it just call me the attention this program and I need to do a presentation for my school and I was wondering if you jave this program in the PA area?

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being a part of the Food Empowerment Project volunteer family! F.E.P. makes the critical connections between ethical and compassionate choices that transcend all species. The sooner our greater community understands the intersections between our daily decisions and the impact on tomorrow's outlook the better. Their mission resonates with me entirely; allowing me to continue learning and sharing information about worker's rights, food source implications, and improving access to healthy foods for all communities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Food Empowerment Project taught me about the injustice that is going on not only in other countries but right in front of our door steps every single day. I was shocked when I first found out about this and I'm very grateful to have found this fantastic organization of dedicated people who work very hard to spread the word! I learned so much while volunteering for this organization, for example how your food choices affect others and the environment one meal at a time. I'm so happy for being a part of this amazing team!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former board member of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), I can honestly say that this all-volunteer, vegan organization is making connections and doing work that is more than commendable. From bringing awareness to the public about the plight of today's farm workers to the lack of access to healthy food in "food deserts," F.E.P. continues to educate others about the importance of their food choices, including the ease of reducing the suffering of animals raised for food. F.E.P. truly empowers people to do the most good and the least harm, which is something I continue to aspire to do and why I happily support them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A hard-working and visionary group. They strive to cover as many related and interconnected issues as they can relating to food. They care about both the human side and animal side, making them quite a unique group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Food Empowerment Project is a fantastic organization that tackles all the injustices surrounding our food choices. As a vegan organization there is the much needed focus on animals but there is also equal concern for issues such as human slavery, environmental exploitation, the plight of farm workers, food security, environmental racism, and food deserts. FEP recognizes that these issues do not exist in a vacuum; instead, they are part of the same cycle of oppression and we need to be concerned about them all if we care about creating a more just world.
Consistent with their holistic approach to food justice, FEP is working to help new vegans stay on track by advocating going vegan for a variety of ethical reasons in their Food Chain newsletters. Instead of promoting an only-for-the-animals approach, Food Chain covers the environmental, social justice, and health reasons for going and staying vegan. This no-stone-left-unturned approach is not only more inclusive but also leaves fewer opportunities for people to make excuses or claim they don't care.
I am extremely proud to be part of the Food Empowerment Project. Volunteering for them has raised my awareness not only of how much injustice is out there but also of how far reaching an impact our food choices have on the world. It truly is empowering!

Chris V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this group because it combines human and animal rights under the greater category of justice. I did not feel satisfied with activist groups who thought one was important and the other not important. The Food Empowerment Project allows me to advocate for people, animals, and the environment, and show how all 3 are related to each other. When I found out about F.E.P. I was excited to have a group represent most of my activist views, without looking down on other causes. When I volunteer for other groups there are always some who are saying they already know about that issue or were not interested. With F.E.P. I have yet to meet someone who was not interested to learn about one or more or the issues we work on. It really makes me feel great to help empower people to make the world a better place through their purchases and other of our campaigns.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I helped FEP conduct focus groups among Spanish-speaking men and women in the San Jose area. In addition to the important work that FEP is conducting, the volunteers showed amazing organization skills in conducting the focus groups. They made the participants feel welcome, appreciated and empowered.

Ryan

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The main reason I choose to work with Food Empowerment Project is because of the direct impact their work has on people in my county. Rather than suggesting solutions to the injustices they experience, Food Empowerment Project works hand in hand with members of my community to identify thoughtful solutions to the struggles they endure. In my view, this is how truly effective, long lasting change occurs. FEP pursues the root of the problem with a tenacity I haven't seen in any other group, for-profit and non-profit alike. It starts with the unparalleled passion of the founder and grows with every single dedicated volunteer. FEP fills a critical niche in the social justice movement and demonstrates an uncompromising commitment to meaningful change. I feel privileged to work with such amazing people.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Food Empowerment Project is a truly unique organization that focuses on interrelated social justice issues that have historically been addressed individually. In my experience with FEP, people seem to connect very quickly with the issues and especially the approach. Most people want to be part of the solution and FEP inspires and empowers people to speak up, get involved and make meaningful changes in their lifestyle. FEP is all about education and action. They continue to demonstrate that they have the initiative to take on serious issues and the follow-through to drive change.

VeganCookieMonster

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the Food Empowerment Project for about 2 years. I am one of their researchers. I volunteer with F.E.P. because the work that they are doing is critical. Their goal is to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one's food choices. They work hard to educate the public about making informed choices to prevent injustices against animals, people and the environment. With many groups, you see a focus on only of those issues, but F.E.P. draws them together to show how people's choices affect animals, people AND the environment. It's all connected. It is an honor and a privilege to support F.E.P.'s work and the difference they are making in the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Paris H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Katherine C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Mark H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.