Food & Democracy
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Food & Democracy

Photo credit: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
The Food & Democracy Program, launched in 2016, supports leaders and organizations around the US and the world fighting for food systems that foster thriving communities, promote dignity and racial equity, and regenerate natural resources.
Our grantees include organizations and movement leaders who are catalyzing the bold change needed to transform the food system from a culprit of interlocking crises—from the climate crisis to environmental degradation, from chronic disease to growing corporate power and inequality—to a key part of the solution.

Our vision is a future where all people have access to healthy, life-serving food, where food producers and workers are valued, and where our food system is a source of equity, environmental sustainability, and health.


Since our inception, the Program has worked closely with movement allies and funder partners to help develop initiatives in the field, including launching the Castanea Fellowship, strengthening and emboldening funder collaboration through the Food and Farm Communications Fund, and working closely with the Agroecology Fund on communications strategy and Covid-19 emergency response. We are also active members of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders Network. (Because of our limited staffing, we are unable to support unsolicited LOIs, but we welcome potential grantees to explore opportunities with the Castanea Fellowship and our funding partners at the Food and Farm Communications Fund and Agroecology Fund).


Core strategies:
  • Campaigns for Change: Supporting urgent and impactful campaigns creating a more healthy, fair, and sustainable food system and deploying a “cluster funding” model to invest in national, anchor groups alongside grassroots organizations. Campaigns include: 
    • Power of Procurement through the Good Food Purchasing Program and Real Food Generation
    • Food Sovereignty in Hawaii through the Protect Our Keikei Coalition 
    • Food and Climate Solutions
    • Health Equity and the Sugary Drinks Industry  
  • Movement Building: Funding long-term movement building, helping to grow and strengthen key food movement alliances and coalitions, including advocacy organizations in California and nationally. As part of this work, we also focus on leadership development through the Castanea Fellowship, Kuleana Academy in Hawaii, and the School of Political Leadership.
  • Communications: Investing in communications—from investigative journalism to narrative building initiatives—to increase public awareness about the impacts of industrial agriculture and the proven potential of agroecology and sustainable agriculture solutions.