HEAL Platform for Real Food

Over 42 million people nationwide struggle every day to get a meal, let alone one that will truly nourish them, support the farmers, fishers, and workers who produced it, and preserve the environment (what we call “real food”).

While we can make healthy food more accessible through a variety of supports, incentives, and innovations, we ultimately need to create economic opportunities to ensure all people are able to afford real food that reflects our different cultures. This includes securing a living wage and dignified conditions for working people, and more opportunities for decentralized ownership and control of food system infrastructure. We also need to support people to produce their own food - self-driven food production is the most empowering and lasting means to achieving food security. The food system itself can be a tool for fighting inequality, creating jobs and community wealth, and bringing food within reach of everyone.

Our Solutions

  • Make real food a clear, accountable priority, starting by creating an Interagency workgroup focused on the whole food system: USDA, Department of Education (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor (DOL), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Restore, increase, and protect food and nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC), with no discriminatory barriers including testing, citizenship, or work requirements, and expand healthy and sustainable options within those programs
  • Incentivize entrepreneurship in low-income communities through tax breaks and other support systems, and provide financial literacy, job training, and cooperatives to encourage wealth development
  • Make community institutions like schools, hospitals, and senior centers anchors of real food; increase funding for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) reimbursements and for farm-to-institution programs
  • Develop infrastructure for worker and neighborhood-owned cooperative food enterprises in underserved neighborhoods through the Healthy Foods Financing Initiative (HFFI), and increase capital and credit opportunities for neighborhood residents
  • Ensure that all USDA and NOAA-funded grant programs related to local food systems and food security prioritize community ownership and community decision-making