HEAL Food Alliance grants $52K to organizations on the frontlines of the fight for food justice

Press Release: For Immediate Release

Contact: Neshani Jani, neshani@healfoodalliance.org

HEAL Food Alliance grants $52K to organizations on the frontlines of the fight for food justice

Oakland, CA – As the pandemic, global calamities, inflation, and climate chaos continue to threaten food security, our environment, and working people’s safety – especially in communities of color – the HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance is expanding support for member and ally organizations through the HEAL Emergency Rapid Response Fund. 

This year, HEAL awarded a total of $52,000 to eight organizations through the Fund. The Rapid Response Fund, now in its second year, provides grants in the range of $4,250-$7,500 to food and farm justice organizations that are bringing critical care to their communities. To date, the fund has redistributed $92K to 18 organizations.

“The deepest change is led by people on the frontlines of social dysfunctions and at the forefront of solutions, yet BIPOC- and frontline community led organizations are the most strapped for resources. An estimated 95% of philanthropic dollars go to organizations run by white people and up to 80% go to organizations run by men,” said Navina Khanna, Executive Director of the HEAL Food Alliance. “HEAL’s trying to disrupt this status quo and redistribute dollars in a way that’s more equitable and more impactful. Our Rapid Response Fund helps  undervalued community leaders working on the frontlines access the resources they need to sustain their critical work.”

This year, through the Rapid Response Fund and other grantmaking the alliance has moved over $250K to frontline organizations.The HEAL Food Alliance partners with philanthropies, donors, and impact investors pursuing transformative food system change to more effectively resource community initiatives, while simultaneously organizing for market based and policy change. This year’s recipients include:

Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED): National

Funding is supporting CoFED’s cooperative education program “Build, Unlearn, Decolonize (BUD),” with scholarships for BUD participants. CoFED designed with love for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander youth who are working in co-ops and collectives to grow community health and wealth through food and land.

Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF): Apopka, FL

Funding is supporting FWAF’s ongoing COVID-19 response to Florida’s farmworker community. This includes direct food distribution, assistance with SNAP, medicaid, and unemployment applications, PPE distribution, and COVID-19 and vaccine education. Funds are also supporting FWAF’s organizing work around farmworker rights and workplace safety. 

HOPE Collaborative (Oakland, CA)

Funding is supporting HOPE’s direct assistance work through its Community Food Distribution Project. This includes providing five months of meals and stipends for resident leaders of the project and paying a BIPOC-owned local catering company for 100 meals/month to deliver to “Town Fridges” throughout Oakland.

Idaho Organization of Resource Councils (IORC): Boise, ID

Funding is supporting IORC’s farmworker organizing efforts and emergency response work, including pesticide response and dairy worker advocacy. Funding also helps IORC complete an organizing assessment of issues facing dairy farmworkers in the Magic Valley region.

Nihikeya; Pinon AZ (Navajo Nation)

Funding is supporting Nihikeya’s climate crisis response work in the Diné community of Pinon. They work on rebuilding traditional food systems while restoring watersheds and building community space to plan, celebrate and share knowledge.

Operation Spring Plant (OSP); Oxford. NC

Funding is supporting OSP’s direct-assistance food access program. This includes supplying socially disadvantaged communities with safe, locally grown food products; offering job creation for part time and  full time pickers, packers and drivers; and supplying produce to local food banks.

Rural Community Workers Alliance (RCWA); Green City, MO
Funding is supporting RCWA’s direct assistance, organizing and advocacy work with immigrant and refugee workers from meat processing plants in Missouri. This includes empowering RCWA’s worker base with leadership development and campaign development programming. 

Workers Center of Central New York (WCNY); Syracuse, NY

Funding is supporting WCNY’s direct assistance work and advocacy supporting low wage and immigrant workers, such as assisting immigrant workers who are actively organizing for change and who have lost employment, especially due to retaliation, or who are in quarantine. Assistance includes purchasing and delivering basic necessities such as groceries, diapers, medication, rent, utilities and transportation.

HEAL will continue to raise and distribute funding to expand the fund’s impact. To support the Rapid Response Fund, HEAL welcomes financial contributions from individuals, organizations, and institutions. Donations can be made at healfoodalliance.org


About the HEAL Food Alliance 

The HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance is a national multi-sector, multi-racial coalition. We are led by our member-organizations, who represent about two million rural and urban farmers, ranchers, fishers, farm and food chain workers, indigenous groups, scientists, public health advocates, policy experts, and community organizers united in their commitment to transformed food systems that are healthy for all families, accessible and affordable for all communities, and fair to the working people who grow, distribute, prepare, and serve our food – while protecting the air, water, and land we all depend on.


* Photo Courtesy of Farmworker Association of Florida