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Contributing Author

Food Security & Response: CLASSY Awards Top 5

At their core, Food Security & Response programs help to relieve hunger. By addressing everything from a lack of key agricultural infrastructure, these programs realize that people need access to food as well as the tools to produce their own. View the key indicators of this subcategory here.


Oxfam Behind the Brands
Oxfam America
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Approximately 1 in 8 people go to bed hungry every night and in poor countries most hungry people earn a living as food producers. Yet no more than 500 companies control 70% of food choice. The 10 largest food and beverage companies have immense power, and their policies and practices could help tackle hunger and poverty, but right now they are failing the people who grow their ingredients.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Oxfam Behind the Brands
Program Name

United States
Location

2013
Start date

Ben Grossman-Cohen
Program Director

@OxfamAmerica[/su_pullquote]

Behind the Brands aims to change how the biggest food and beverage companies in the world do business in developing countries. Based off of previous success seen with consumer pressure on other companies, Behind the Brands is a campaign that ranks the 10 biggest food giants for their impacts on hunger, poverty and the environment. With greater transparency into the food industry, consumers are empowered to hold companies accountable and inspire a race to the top that can transform the food industry. Oxfam America’s interactive scorecard is embeddable in any website and allows consumers to find out how the companies that own their favorite brands are scoring on important social and environmental issues. It also allows consumers to share this info with their friends and to communicate directly with companies to urge them to do better using petitions, and social media like twitter and Facebook. In 2013 the campaign convinced Mars, Mondelez and Nestle to make significant commitments to address gender inequality in their supply chains, and Coca-Cola committed to declaring zero tolerance for land grabs after more than 250,000 people signed petitions. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Kathy Chavez, Pediatric Nurse” class=”top5″]Before, I really did not understand how to influence corporate change. The only thing I knew was boycotts. With Behind the Brands I understand that it is policy change that causes lasting improvements in the life of farmers and workers all over the world. And, I did not understand how to have my voice heard, Through Behind The Brands my voice is amplified many times. [/su_quote]
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Healthy Neighborhoods
City Harvest
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Nearly two million New Yorkers are facing hunger and in many neighborhoods, healthy food is unavailable and unaffordable. In turn, diseases related to poor nutrition – including diabetes and heart disease – tend to be concentrated where demand for emergency food is greatest. In select neighborhoods, 31% of residents live with food insecurity, 34% of adults and 26% of children are obese, 16% of adults have diabetes and 36% of adults have high blood pressure.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Healthy Neighborhoods
Program Name

New York City, New York
Location

2004
Start date

Jennifer McLean
Program Director

@CityHarvest[/su_pullquote]

Healthy Neighborhoods is an integrated series of programs designed to address hunger, diet-related disease and a lack of access to healthy food. Their model extracts best practices from around the country, including a corner store initiative implemented by The Food Trust in Philadelphia, the NYC Dept. Of Health’s supermarket program, and Share Our Strength’s nutrition education. The implementation of the program is driven by partnerships with residents, non-profits, businesses and government: Mobile Markets are hosted with New York City Housing Authority, Healthy Retail partners with storeowners to ensure healthy food is available and affordable and Nutrition Education is hosted in schools, senior centers, soup kitchens & pantries. Early findings show that 95% of Mobile Market participants reported eating more fruits and vegetables and 71% of participants are cooking healthier at home. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Jennifer McLean, Program Director” class=”top5″] We work to transform low-income areas into communities that support healthy diets and we’re making great progress. Community partnerships are the leaven that hold it all together and make it work. [/su_quote]


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Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program
Wholesome Wave
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING For 13.5 million low-income Americans, healthy food is inaccessible and/or unaffordable. Those with limited access to healthy food suffer from higher rates of diet-related diseases. The rise of Type 2 diabetes in children coincides with the rise of childhood obesity & poverty. These chronic diseases cost $190.2 billion per year to treat.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program
Program Name

United States
Location

2010
Start date

Ashley Fitch
Program Director

@wholesomewave[/su_pullquote]

The Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program® (FVRx®) directly addresses issues of food access, diet-related chronic disease, lack of knowledge, and regional economic development through partnerships between community health care providers and farm-to-retail partners in order to increase access to affordable fruits and vegetables for individuals with diet-related diseases in underserved communities. Check out the FVRx process. The partner-based work also simultaneously provides doctors with a resource to reinforce their recommendations, impacts family health and supports local farmers. Since 2010, 18 FVRx programs have launched in 9 states and Washington, DC, with 33 partner organizations. In 2012, 38% of child patients decreased their BMI after the program. 55.3% of patients saw an increase in their fruit and vegetable consumption and 53% of families came to the farmers market 8+ times during the season. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Ashley Fitch, Program Director” class=”top5″] FVRx is revolutionizing the way communities approach diet-related disease and food access. The diet-related disease epidemic was not caused by, and cannot be solved by, one sector. Through FVRx partners are uniting and multiplying their efforts, allowing people and communities to, according to one partner, ‘take risks to make change.’ [/su_quote]
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Food Security & Nutrition Lending Portfolio
Root Capital
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Across the developing world, poverty and hunger are primarily rural phenomena. The vast majority of the rural poor (living on less than $2 a day) depend on agriculture as their primary livelihood. Rural poverty is highly correlated with hunger: the UN estimates that 50% of small-scale farming households are under-nourished compared with 20% of urban households.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Food Security & Nutrition Lending Portfolio
Program Name

Rwanda
Location

2013
Start date

Brian Milder
Program Director

@RootCapital[/su_pullquote]

In 2010 Root Capital began making loans to promote domestic food value chains within their newly created Innovation portfolio. They quickly saw how powerful this financing was to address issues of food scarcity and nutrition, as well as how well it leveraged the global lending platform they had built over the past 13 years. Today, the Food Security & Nutrtion portfolio serves African and Latin American agricultural small and growing businesses that aggregate several hundred or several thousand smallholders farmers. They target businesses that lack access to finance and require loans ranging from $50,000-$1,000,000. Their goal is to extend finance to businesses that increase incomes by providing access to yield-enhancing technologies such as seeds, soil health products, and micro-irrigation, and that reduce post-harvest losses through quality management and storage. In 3 years, the program has issued 32 loans totaling $4.6 million to 25 businesses. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Brian Milder, Program Director” class=”top5″]We project serving nearly 1.4 million by 2016 through lending in the Food Security & Nutrition Portfolio. In addition to smallholders directly served by our client companies, we anticipate that increasingly our clients will produce affordable, nutritious foods benefiting 800,000 food consumers. [/su_quote]


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Food Bank
MEND
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING With the poverty rate at 18% in Los Angeles County, and unemployment still hovering at 9%, individuals and families in the Los Angeles area struggle with food security. For many families, fresh, healthy foods are too expensive to obtain regularly. Many children who depend on school meal programs go hungry during the summer and winter breaks. Among MEND clients, 50% have diabetes, which is exacerbated by unhealthy eating.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Food Bank
Program Name

Pacoima, California
Location

1971
Start date

Richard Weinroth
Program Director

@MENDPOVERTY[/su_pullquote]

MEND Food Bank distributes more than a quarter of a million pounds of food a month both onsite and through its community outreach, helping to feed well over 21,000 people every month. Food boxes are filled with a nutritionally-balanced supply of food and are personalized to include baby food, extra protein for pregnant or nursing mothers, and low-salt foods for diabetics. The Garden Program provides vegetables and fruits, and the kitchen provides nutrition and cooking classes. The Food Bank also participates in MEND’s Job Skills Training Program through its Food Service and Warehouse Training Programs in which volunteer participants learn entry-level skills appropriate for jobs in the food service industry, shipping, receiving, and customer service. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Richard Weinroth, Program Director” class=”top5″]It’s been exciting to be part of MEND’s holistic approach toward working with families in poverty that has allowed us to move beyond the “hand-out” of our generous food boxes, to offering “hand-up” opportunities that empower families to become self-sustaining and healthier. [/su_quote]
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The Hunger & Poverty Experts

The Leadership Council is an honorary board comprised of a diverse group of experts that will collectively determine the winners of the CLASSY Awards in this cause sector. Their unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector.

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Photo credit: Root Capital

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