A National Grassroots Campaign for Healthier Food

Field of Work: Healthy food, food justice and childhood obesity

Problem Synopsis: Low-income neighborhoods often lack ready access to healthy, affordable food. In one study, researchers found that supermarkets accounted for less than 2 percent of all food outlets in three low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles. This is one of the reasons obesity is more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods than in affluent communities.

Synopsis of the Work: From 2009 to 2010, Active Voice, San Francisco, organized Ingredients for Change, a nationwide grassroots campaign designed to spur public awareness and advocacy around healthy food, food justice and childhood obesity. The campaign coincided with the release of Food, Inc., a feature-length documentary that portrays the U.S. food industry as mechanized, centralized and focused on creating highly processed food cheaply.

Key Results

Active Voice worked with local advocacy organizations to host screenings of Food, Inc., in 30 low-income communities around the country. The organization created publications on how to host successful film-screening events, an electronic media kit on eliciting media coverage, and a national network of 3,000 leaders and constituents from the 30 sites dedicated to fighting obesity and advocating for healthy food options in low-income neighborhoods.