Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

Institute for Food and Development Policy, Inc.

  • Oakland, CA
  • http://www.foodfirst.org

Mission Statement

Food First is a “people's think tank" dedicated to ending the injustices that cause hunger and helping communities to take back control of their food systems. We advance our mission through three interrelated work areas: research, education and action. These work areas are designed to promote informed citizen engagement with the institutions and policies that control our food and to integrate local, national and global efforts. Our work both informs and amplifies the voices of social movements fighting for food justice and food sovereignty.

Research for Action

The goal of Food First's research work is to generate information and analysis for food sovereignty—locally and globally. We also carry out Participatory Action Research with community organizations to help them generate their own information and analyses. The combination of our applied and participatory research produces real-time information and insights. Our research brings the perspective of community-based struggles to broader development debates. The core of Food First's long-time work, our research and analysis is disseminated through a variety of research publications—including backgrounders, policy briefs, development reports and books—which help popular audiences to understand the complex dynamics of our global food system. The ability to convey complex ideas in accessible language has been a hallmark of our publications since Food First was founded. We believe that collective knowledge sharing and production is vital to building effective movements for social change. Our researchers have also been widely published in peer-reviewed journals and other academic publications, which lends credibility to our work and helps us influence policy debates.

Education for Change

Food First publications are widely used in university courses and by community groups around the world. Food First has published over 60 books, with translations in 22 languages worldwide. In addition, Executive Director Eric Holt-Giménez and Food First researchers teach courses and seminars, give talks, and participate in public discussions everywhere from university classrooms and international conferences to farms and community centers. Food First's educational travel program Food Sovereignty Tours invites members of the general public to travel with our experts to explore the world's food cultures and engage with the global movement for food sovereignty. With several destinations—including Cuba, Bolivia, Italy, Oaxaca, the Basque Country, Korea and the San Francisco Bay Area—and a growing scholarship program for students, farmers and activists, Food Sovereignty Tours has become Food First's most important educational program.

Projects for Transformation

Food First is not just a “think tank." We generate research and education for action. And we also support community-based projects around the world that are creating real change for real people. Through our Campaign for the Restoration and Conservation of Pollinators, we work with peasant farmers in Central Mexico to spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture through community radio programs and farmer-to-farmer networks. In West Africa, Food First supports the We are the Solution Campaign, a campaign led by small farmers and women to spread agroecological knowledge and advocate for policies that support family farming—not large-scale industrial agriculture. Locally, Food First incubated the Oakland Food Policy Council, an innovative council of farmers, restaurateurs, policymakers and engaged citizens working together to build an equitable and sustainable food system where we live, in Oakland, California.

Main Programs

  1. Research for Action
  2. Education for Action
  3. Projects for Tranformation

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

Areas Served Narrative

In California we are developing an urban farmer field school. Nationally we participate in coalitions on food and farming issues including farmworker and fast food worker rights. We are a founding member of the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance. Internationally we work with coalitions of small farmer organizations in West Africa and small farmer cooperatives and indigenous communities in Mexico. Food First leads food sovereignty tours to South Korea, Bolivia, Oaxaca in Mexico, Basque Country, Cuba, and Italy. Internationally we support and champion the work of the 3 million strong farmers' organization, Via Campesina.

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1976

Executive Director since 2007

Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

Foood Sovereignty,Food Justice, Sustainable Agriculture, Hunger, Farming, land grabs, poverty, genetically modified food, environmental degredation

Self-reported by organization

Notes from the Nonprofit

Frances Moore Lappé, author of the 1972 book, Diet for a Small Planet, co-founded with Joseph Collins the Institute for Food and Development Policy which later became known as Food First. Together they wrote the Food First book titled Food First; Beyond the Myth of Scarcity. Then, as today there is no shortage of food; rather there is a shortage of equity. In late 2014 the third edition of their famous book, World Hunger: Twelve Myths will be published. As more people awaken to the realization that they are responsible for what and how they eat, they are rejecting the corporate and international unhealthy solutions of corporate farming and global distribution of food products in favor of home grown and locally-produced food - the essence of food sovereignty.

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EIN

13-2838167

 Number

5662044466

Physical Address

398 60th St

Oakland, 94618 1212

Also Known As

Food First

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

International Human Rights (Q70)

Interdisciplinary Research (V30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

Food First's impact is in opening people to a deeper understanding of why poverty and hunger continue in the face of abundant resources, to recognize that this is a violation of the basic human right to eat, and to make the link between poverty, hunger and environmental degradation. In the organization's 39 years, more than 40 Food First Books have been published and adopted as textbooks by professors in more than 200 universities and colleges in the U.S. Some of these books have been translated into 22 languages. Food First's website is a frequent source of information for students of all ages, but especially college and graduate students. Food First collaborates with activist scholars from around the world in conducting research, presenting papers and publishing articles in both professional journals and popular publications. Our e-mail lists, food workers-food justice, movements, and people putting food first have 13,000 subscribers. Since we started Food Sovereignty Tours in 2009, close to 200 farmers, students, activists and scholars have traveled to experience food sovereignty in Bolivia, Oaxaca, South Korea, Italy, Cuba, and Basque Country. Food First is well known throughout the Third World due to the many translations that have been copied and handed around. The organization is well respected by Via Campesina, the international coalition of small farmers and fishers, and its affiliate members.

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Research for Action

The goal of Food First’s research work is to generate information and analysis for food sovereignty—locally and globally. We also carry out Participatory Action Research with community organizations to help them generate their own information and analyses. The combination of our applied and participatory research produces real-time information and insights. Our research brings the perspective of community-based struggles to broader development debates. The core of Food First’s long-time work, our research and analysis is disseminated through a variety of research publications—including backgrounders, policy briefs, development reports and books—which help popular audiences to understand the complex dynamics of our global food system. The ability to convey complex ideas in accessible language has been a hallmark of our publications since Food First was founded. We believe that collective knowledge sharing and production is vital to building effective movements for social change. Our researchers have also been widely published in peer-reviewed journals and other academic publications, which lends credibility to our work and helps us influence policy debates.

Category

International

Budget

Population Served

Adults

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use

Program 2

Education for Action

Food First publications are widely used in university courses and by community groups around the world. Food First has published over 60 books, with translations in 22 languages worldwide. In addition, Executive Director Eric Holt-Giménez and Food First researchers teach courses and seminars, give talks, and participate in public discussions everywhere from university classrooms and international conferences to farms and community centers. Food First’s educational travel program Food Sovereignty Tours invites members of the general public to travel with our experts to explore the world’s food cultures and engage with the global movement for food sovereignty. With several destinations—including Cuba, Bolivia, Italy, Oaxaca, the Basque Country, Korea and the San Francisco Bay Area—and a growing scholarship program for students, farmers and activists, Food Sovereignty Tours has become Food First’s most important educational program.

Category

Philosophy & Ethics

Budget

Population Served

Adults

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

General Public/Unspecified

Program 3

Projects for Tranformation

Food First is not just a “think tank.” We generate research and education for action. And we also support community-based projects around the world that are creating real change for real people. Through our Campaign for the Restoration and Conservation of Pollinators, we work with peasant farmers in Central Mexico to spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture through community radio programs and farmer-to-farmer networks. In West Africa, Food First supports the We are the Solution Campaign, a campaign led by small farmers and women to spread agroecological knowledge and advocate for policies that support family farming—not large-scale industrial agriculture. Locally, Food First incubated the Oakland Food Policy Council, an innovative council of farmers, restaurateurs, policymakers and engaged citizens working together to build an equitable and sustainable food system where we live, in Oakland, California.

Category

Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

Budget

Population Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Food First's goal is to educate people to the underlying causes of hunger, poverty and environmental decline; intertwined issues that continue to plague us and threaten to destroy our planet. Food First supports activists, social movements, alliances and coalitions working for systemic changes that can transform our planet while ending hunger and poverty.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Food First's strategies are multiple including working closely with activists, activist scholars, farmer organizations, and other groups both here in the U.S. and worldwide who share our desire to build a more equitable and ecologically healthy world. We offer training, and provide educational materials including books, papers, videos, organize conferences and meetings, publish on social media and make our materials available on our website. We also lecture and speak widely in the U.S. Latin America, Europe and Africa. We are active in local, national and international coalitions working toward similar goals.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Food First is somewhat unique among nonprofits in that we offer a window to people in the global north to understand the issue facing the global south through travel, exchanges, coalitions, and publications. We have always striven to present complex, interrelated issues in an easily understood way by getting to the root of these frequently paradoxical and obfuscated situations. We operate with a lean staff of just six and are able to extend our impact by coordinating work with as many as 50 interns, translators, fellows and other unpaid collaborators at any given time. By offering a publication platform, some scholars who share our understanding of the issues, choose to publish with Food First.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Number of visits to the food first website
    Number of books sold
    Number of academic papers submitted at recent co-sponsored proceedings on food and land sovereignty
    Number of speaking engagements
    Number of classes and short courses taught
    Number of participants in urban farmer field schools
    Recognition and respect by collaborators
    Increased use of the terms food sovereignty and food justice
    Number of people participating in Food Sovereignty Tours
    Evaluation of the longer term impact for those who participate in Food Sovereignty Tours
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    After 39 years of educating and organizing by Food First, most people now readily acknowledge that hunger is a distribution problem; not a shortage of food which was the generally accepted idea when Food First started. Shattering this myth of scarcity has allowed us to work with many collaborators in organizations throughout the world who share our belief that inequity and injustice, which is at the root of this unnecessary poverty and environmental destruction, can and must be stopped. We view this campaign as not unlike the long arch of campaigning for equal rights for women here in the U.S. and around the world and the right of all people, no matter their color, race, religion, or sexual orientation to have equal rights and freedoms. Progress in ending hunger may be slower than we might like, but we are making progress step by step and day by day.

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

Areas Served Narrative

In California we are developing an urban farmer field school. Nationally we participate in coalitions on food and farming issues including farmworker and fast food worker rights. We are a founding member of the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance. Internationally we work with coalitions of small farmer organizations in West Africa and small farmer cooperatives and indigenous communities in Mexico. Food First leads food sovereignty tours to South Korea, Bolivia, Oaxaca in Mexico, Basque Country, Cuba, and Italy. Internationally we support and champion the work of the 3 million strong farmers' organization, Via Campesina.

Self-reported by organization

Blog

The organization's Blog

Social Media

@foodfirst

@foodfirstorg

@+foodfirst/posts

@http://www.linkedin.cfood-first-institute-for-food-and-development-policy?trk=cp_followed_name_food-first-institute-for-food-and-development-policy

@http://www.youtube.com/user/FoodFirstVideo

@http://www.pinterest.com/foodfirst/boards/

@foodfirst

Funding Needs

More than 60% of the funding for Food First's programs is from individual donors. In 2013, we would like to hire a program coordinator to coordinate the following initiatives: ● Begin Land and Sovereignty in the Americas activist-research with communities in the Americas resisting land grabs by speculators and oil palm and mining corporations; ● Assist the "We Are the Solution Campaign" of West African women’s farmer organizations by developing tri-lingual farmer-to-farmer agroecology training manuals like those that I published with small-scale farmers in Mexico and Central America; ● Launch an Urban Farmer-to-Farmer Field School in the San Francisco Bay Area.

photos




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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

INSTITUTE FOR FOOD & DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Institute for Food and Development Policy, Inc.

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez

BIO

See web site for his bio: http://foodfirst.org/team/eric-holt-gimenez/
Eric Holt-Giménez is editor of "Food Movements Unite! Strategies to Transform our Food Systems," and the author of the Food First Books, "Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice" and "Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America's Farmer" to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture which chronicles the development of this movement in Mexico and Central America over two and a half decades. Eric has worked with farmers, participated in their farmer-to-farmer trainings, and documented their participatory research aimed at perfecting techniques suited to local conditions.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"At Food First in 2011 Food First published the Food First book, "Food Movements Unite! Strategies to transform our food systems" to examine ways that the many grassroots movements for food justice that are springing up around the world can unite to transform our food systems. Globalization has not ended hunger even though there is 1 1/2 times the amount of food needed grown (enough to make us all fat). Poverty prevents close to a billion people from feeding themselves.
 
Our work at Food First documents that people around the planet continue to save local seeds, hold on to family farms, build local economies, establish fair and local markets, and stubbornly keep their civic organizations alive. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of activists worldwide are working tirelessly to ensure the transparency and accountability of our public and international institutions, struggling to roll back the monopoly power of the agrifoods corporations, and fighting for the "triple bottom line: of social, economic and environmental sustainability.  These efforts have not only put constant pressure on governments, international finance institutions and multinational corporations, they have also created important social and political infrastructure for the growing practice of food sovereignty--the democratic control over our food systems."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Professor Joyce King

Georgia State University

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

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Gender
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff.
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff.

Disability
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff, Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.