Cause Guide Food Justice

Food Justice
Food Justice
Food Justice

What is Food Justice and Why Should I Care?


We think about food nearly every minute of the day. It is something that fills us, gives us sustenance, and brings us creative joys in so many forms. Think cooking shows, inventive desserts, food movements, favorite snacks, farming, and more. But, on the other spectrum some people have to contend with no food. This circumstance reflects challenges faced by our diverse communities who suffer hunger, lack of access to nutritious food, disease, and lost educational opportunities. We believe a nutritious meal is a human right and no one should go without this basic need. 

As a purpose driven business, we believe it’s important that every single one of us work to fill this gap in any way we can through better information, shifting habits, or giving back. This is why we are exploring FOOD and JUSTICE together. Associating the word “justice” with food might seem disconnected, but in actuality, it incorporates our belief that every person deserves a nutritious meal in our neighborhood, country and world.

We recognize that Food Justice is an enormous topic and there are many ways we can dig deep and explore the issues that surround food and access. For example, it’s important to recognize that food and race, food and agriculture, and food and health are critical areas that need to be covered respectfully. And, we plan to continue adding to our Food Justice Guide.

We started this cause guide because it is absolutely critical to start a dialogue on Food Justice issues, as we present them here. We are also working with experts in this field to add additional important sections on race, health and agriculture. For example, we are beyond excited to have someone share with us the nuts and bolts of CalFresh, a nutrition program that can help students, homeless, and households buy healthy foods in California. In the meantime, read about ways you can learn and act today.

First, visit Foodprint, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to research and education on food production practices. The organization defines “food justice” as a holistic view of the food system, believes healthy food is a human right, and works to reduce structural barriers that prevent access to healthy foods. In that light, food justice considers access to affordable and healthy food, farmable land, laws around land ownership, education on gardening, community programs, and judicial systems to protect land.

The practice of considering and examining questions of access to healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food is one simple step we can all take to break down barriers for ourselves and for the communities who lack access.

What it Means and Why it Matters

Resources for Self-Education about the Food Justice Movement

A Place at the Table  – Exposes the issues and current state of hunger in the US. Available for rent on Amazon Prime or Youtube

Sustainable – A look into the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system. Rent on Amazon Prime.

Dolores – The historic fight for our country’s first farm workers union and eventually a fight for gender equality. Available for rent on Amazon Prime.

FarmlandTell the farmers’ side of the agriculture production story through the eyes of six farmers under 30. Available for rent on Amazon Prime or Youtube.

Food, INC. – An deeper look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry. Stream on Hulu or Amazon.

Ingredients – A beautifully photogenic look at what goes into a successful sustainable alternative food system in communities. Watch on iTunes.

In Our Hands – Based in the UK, a look into the lives of farmers and food activists and the challenges they face. 

Plant this Movie – A deeper look into urban farming in various places around the globe. Free with Amazon Prime. 

Food Stamped – A couple shows what it is like to eat on food stamps and the level of nutritional food they have access to. Includes interviews with members Congress, activists and more.  Free with Amazon Prime. 

The Biggest Little Farm– A documentary about a couple working to develop a sustianble farm outside Los Angeles- Rent on Amazon Prime

More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change by Garrett Broad

Food Justice Now!: Deepening the Roots of Social Struggle by Joshua Sbicca

The Unending Hunger: Tracing Women and Food Insecurity Across Borders by Megan Carney

Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture by David A. Cleveland

Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability by Alison Hope Alkon (Editor), Julian Agyeman

Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. by Ashante M. Reese

Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America by Wenonah Hauter

Food Justice (Food, Health, and the Environment) by Robert Gottlieb

Social Good Businesses to Support

Imperfect Foods

Gold Giveback Medal     
Grocery delivery service taking action to decrease food waste and provide food to the community. When food waste in US is at 40%, salvaging any food so it’s eaten and farmers are paid seems like the best thing to do. Even if it’s ugly on the outside, the carrot is still beautifully nutritious on the inside!

Gallant International

Platinum Giveback Medal     

100% organic cotton wholesale branded swag! Bags, shirts, towels and more offered by companies who give out stuff we feel good about because these meet some of the most stringent certifications for fabrics. Works closely with farmers to grow organic cotton and ensure farmers and workers are paid Fairtrade prices to help them lift out of poverty. Has also contributed 100,000 meals through Feeding America.

Project 7 Gum

Platinum Giveback Medal
Inspiring chewing gum made in the US supports initiatives that heal the sick, save the earth, house the homeless, feed the hungry, quench thirst, teach children and promote peace. Partners with Children’s Hunger Fund, Feeding America and more!


Silver Giveback Medal     
Beauty, classic yet stylish jewelry with the intention of always paying it forward and extending a helping hand to those in need. Your purchase gives back to Neighbor Impact or Feeding America. They have already donated over 900,000 meals to hungry Americans.

Feed Project

Gold Giveback Medal     

What’s amazing about these stylish totes that fund the hungry is that your purchase helps provide a consistent meal everyday to a child which long term means better grades, more school, and graduating with greater opportunities!


Silver Giveback Medal
Yummy, organic, nut-free snack puffs made out of chickpeas that support chickpea farmers in Africa through their partnership with Partner with Farm Africa. They also donate meals to children in need via Feeding America so you know your purchase goes a long way!

Conscious Coconut

Silver Giveback Medal     

Cold pressed coconut oil made in small batches that feeds the soul because each purchase gives a free meal via Feeding America and supports local crafts people.

This Saves Lives

Silver Giveback Medal     

The name says it all – each bar provides a nutrient packed bar to a malnourished child in the world. Over 11 million life saving food packets and counting! The food packets help children go from malnourished to healthy In just 8 weeks.


Bronze Sustainability Medal
Turning organic waste into rich, vibrant compost for your garden gives value to waste and helps reduce the pressure on our landfills. Since 2010, EcoScraps has diverted over 225 million lbs. of food waste from landfills. This year alone, EcoScraps will collect 75 million lbs. of food waste from retailers across America!

Get Involved

VOLUNTEER to Restore Community Lands

at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp and dedicate anywhere from a day, to a week to a month camping at a restoration site helping rebuild the land so that both the ecosystem and it’s neighboring communities are able to have access to flourishing lands and farmable plots after catastrophic events, human impact or other harmful factors. Help bring life back to the land and it’s people (and be sure to check out our GoodSmack for the Planet podcast with them next week)!

Feeding America

VOLUNTEER to Pack and Send Food

with Feeding America by going to their website, searching your zip code and finding either your local FA location or other local food banks. Currently, there are millions of children out of school who rely on school lunches to eat every day, and families losing their jobs due to COVID-19 in need of food. Donate any money you can OR donate your time by volunteering as a food boxer as long as you meet the health requirements online.



Sponsor a Student Led Cooperative Growth Curriculum through CoFED that consists of workshops, exercises, and handouts designed to support student-run food cooperatives at every stage of their development. Recognizing that food insecurity is a growing issue disproportionately affecting marginalized groups, and that food justice is inextricably linked with racial and social justice, this curriculum focuses on equity as a guiding principle in food cooperative development.

VOLUNTEER on an organic, sustainable farm

WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community. Stay for a day, a week or a month on one of their awesome farms.


HEAL’s mission is to build our collective power to create food and farm systems that are healthy for our families, accessible and affordable for all communities, and fair to the hard-working people who grow, distribute, prepare, and serve our food — while protecting the air, water, and land we all depend on. You can donate here.

The Black Church Food Security Network utilizes an asset-based approach in organizing and linking the vast resources of historically African American congregations in rural and urban communities to advancing food and land sovereignty. 

Did you know that each city in America has their own Feeding America chapter? You can find yours by clicking here and searching your zip code. This ensures that the funds you don’t will go directly to your community. Feeding America chapters rely heavily on leftover, unsold food from grocery stores and restaurants. However, since COVID-19 the amount of food available has decreased since less people are eating out 

and more people are buying out grocery stores. Your donation allows your local Feeding America to purchase food to donate to your community during these hard times.

Planting Justice is a grassroots organization with a mission to empower people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequities with the skills and resources to cultivate food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing. Through their Inside Garden Program at San Quentin State Prison they’re able to train prisoners in permaculture gardening and provide a guaranteed job on their farm with fair wages as soon as they leave prison. Your donation helps to continue programs like these or you can support them by purchasing plants from their gardens here! #KaleNotJail

The FJC provides farms and food businesses with technical tools to improve work and trade practices from farm to retail, including extensive toolkits and templates, one-on-one technical assistance, and a stakeholder-driven certification program for high bar social justice standards — Food Justice Certification (FJC), the gold standard for labor and trade practices in North America. The FJC label helps launch conversations about why such a label is needed and what it means, the existence of inequities and injustice in the food system, the need to address them, and actions that can be taken.

Food Justice - An Example

The benefits of having access to healthy food goes beyond just feeding the hungry. Access to a healthy meal can contribute to a person’s social, economic, and educational standing down the road. To highlight the real disparities that exist in this country, consider our simple example below.

We compare the livelihoods of two young boys, Mike and Sam.

Mike lives in a middle class neighborhood and his parents can afford to give him three nutritionally balanced meals a day. His community has lots of grocery stores and healthy restaurant options. Because of his balanced diet, lack of stress from worrying about where his next meal is coming from, he is physically healthy and has the energy and mental focus to do well in school. Mike is fed and focused.

Sam comes from a low-income family who lives in a working class neighborhood. His family can afford to have dinners most nights but cannot afford fresh, nutritious (eg, blueberries) or organic food. Furthermore, his neighborhood has limited fresh food options, and instead, is dominated by fast food restaurants and convenience stores. Due to his family’s economic status, Sam relies on the provided “free” lunch given at school. The lack of sufficient and consistent nutritious meals means Sam is often stressed, has difficulty focusing on school work, and prone to health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, due to inconsistent and unbalanced food intake.

Food Access in Our Communities states that “accessing fresh foods at affordable prices is challenging for many low wage workers. Overall, 13 million Americans lack access to healthy foods, contributing to rising obesity rates. Latino, Native American and Black communities are two to four times more likely than white communities to lack access to healthy foods. And even when people have access to fresh and nutritious foods in their community, they likely cannot afford them. Fifteen percent of Americans rely on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Moreover, 1 in 4 black residents and 1 in 6 latinos rely on SNAP compared to 1 in 12 white americans 

The Food Gap Awareness

Being or becoming aware of organizations working to help provide nutritious food to all communities irregardless of ethnic background, gender, skin color, and economic status is critical to help create solutions and fill the knowledge gap. When we see the problem, we can do so much more to move the needle forward. Even simple discussion between friends and families can lead to the “hummingbird effect” where one idea or process leads to unexpected positive impacts in another place or with another individual”.

A Case Study: The Farmers' Protest in India

India, the largest producer of spices, exports much of its agricultural product to the United States including turmeric, chili, cumin, pepper, cardamom, saffron, and wheat. Yet, the very same farmers that provide these resources are being oppressed by the Indian government and want their voices heard.

What is the Farmer’s Protest?

Millions of farmers, their families, and supporters have been protesting in India and around the world in what is considered to be the largest protest in human history. Since November 2020, thousands of protesters have been camped out on the streets of New Delhi, blocking the main entry points to the capital city in efforts to get their voices heard by the government. Many have joined in on representing farmers, as crowd sizes are said to have peaked at 250 million. The protest is also known as the “Delhi Chalo” Movement, translating to “Let’s go to Delhi”.


Like the saying goes, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Nearly 60% of the Indian population relies on the agricultural sector as their primary source of income, making it one of the most important industries for the Indian economy. In September 2020, three agricultural laws were passed by the Indian government, without the consent of farmers, that would deregulate the farming sector. Farmers fear that these laws, or Farm Bills, will leave them unprotected from big corporations and put them at high risk of losing their land, business, and only form of income. 


While the government believes that the Farm Bills will be beneficial and more efficient for the agricultural sector, small and marginalized farmers have branded them “anti-farmers laws” and consider them as death warrants. States like Punjab are solely dependent on agriculture and have no social safety net if they lose resources to sell their crops.

A Human Rights Issue 

Socioeconomic factors such as debt and pricing issues have long perpetuated the suppression of farming communities. High suicide rates in these communities in the past few years are an indication of the severity of this agricultural distress. Now the Farm Bills are jeopardizing their means to sustain their families for the next generations to come. Recall that in the aftermath of the American Farming Crisis of the late 1970s, the communities of the Midwest continued to struggle. These Farm Bills will place these Indian farmers in the same situation, with no other option than to either get big or get out.


International Attention

The Farmers’ Protest has garnered the attention of many international figures such as climate activist Greta Thunberg, author and lawyer Meena Harris, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and other public figures. International support has come flooding in from rallies across the world showing their support for farmers, because after all, no farmers, no food. 


This protest symbolizes a huge multi-generational movement for justice and democracy in India amidst rising government suppression. Notably, this movement is being led by a religious minority, and women are also playing an important role. Most recently, TIME magazine’s cover features women leading the protest. It is a point of inspiration internationally, as we see justice movements around the world advocating for equality and human rights. And this movement can be paralleled as a fight for democracy as well.  


UPDATE: The protests so far have allowed for access to the government for negotiations. Three rounds of talks have happened so far, but have been inconclusive.

Getting Involved:

Podcasts to Listen To

  • The Sikh Cast: #FarmersProtest
  • The Surrey Podcast Today: Why the Indian Farmer Protests Matter
  • The Intelligence: Hell no, we won’t grow: Indian Farmers’ Mass Protest

Take Action

  • Khalsa Aid
  • Contact your local officials or members of Congress to urgently show solidarity with farmers and condemn the Indian government’s undemocratic response to the protest.

Social Media Sources

  • Saving Punjab (@savingpunjab)
  • Brown Journals (@brown.journals)
  • Sikh Expo (@sikhexpo)
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