One goal of Food Empowerment Project is to highlight the inequity of the food system in the United States, which has led to higher rates of health problems among people of color and in low-income communities, including diabetes, due to the lack of access to healthy foods. Areas lacking such access are commonly referred to as food deserts, a form of environmental racism that threatens the health of future generations. This form of injustice is complicated and has many moving parts: it involves, among other things, where and how people work, the responsibilities they have to juggle, and the importance of a living wage. And, while policy makers and communities need to work together to address inequitable food access, communities need to be the ones making the ultimate decisions.

We therefore work with community members to survey healthy food availability and conduct focus groups with local organizations in the impacted areas. We also work to inform public officials of our findings and encourage policy changes.

We started in Santa Clara County, California, where we were based from 2007 to 2011. That work culminated in our report Shining a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight: Taking a Look at Access to Healthy Foods in Santa Clara County’s Communities of Color and Low-Income Communities, released along with GIS maps showing districts most likely to be impacted by inequitable food distribution.

In 2014, we released our report Bringing Community Voices to the Table: Food Empowerment Project in San José Focus Groups Qualitative Data Analysis Results.

Earlier, in 2013, a community group asked Food Empowerment Project to take a look at these issues in Vallejo, California. In November 2013, we began that survey, and we released the results of our work, Vallejo: City of Opportunity Lacks Access to Healthy Food in June of 2016.

We also put on an annual Vallejo Healthy Food Fest in Vallejo. Below you can find some photos and a short video of the event. For more photos check out the Facebook album.

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shame on albertsons

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please sign and share the petition to Safeway/Albertsons’ CEO Vivek Sankaran right now and tell him that all neighborhoods need access to fresh food!

Please sign our friends, at Birchwood Food Desert Fighters, petition to Albertsons, asking them to remove ALL grocery noncompete clauses affecting the Park Manor Shopping Center.

Call Safeway to complain:
1-877-Safeway
(1-877-723-3929). *

Call Albertsons to complain:
1-877-848-6483.*

Call Safeway to complain:
1-877-Safeway
(1-877-723-3929). *

Call Albertsons to complain:
1-877-848-6483.*

* Suggested language and details: Please make a polite phone call and keep in mind the person you are speaking to probably has no idea about this policy—most people don’t. You just need to stay on the line for a customer service representative. For Safeway, they will ask you for your full name and phone number and if you have a Safeway card number.
 
Suggested language: “I am calling to log a comment against a Safeway / Albertsons policy that sometimes puts restrictive deeds on its former properties and prevents other grocery stores from moving in, sometimes for 10 years or more. This has impacted community health. I would like Safeway / Albertsons to end this policy immediately.”
 

If they ask questions you cannot answer, feel free to provide our email: info@foodispower.org and remind them you are calling because you disagree with this practice.

Order some of our leaflets to share with others by emailing info(at)foodispower.org.

 
 

Join us by taking a stand in front of your local Safeway / Albertsons! Find a demo to attend here.

Want to organize your own demo? We can send you leaflets and posters. Contact us here for additional details.

 
 
Take action on social media with hashtag #ShameOnSafeway & #ShameOnAlbertsons and tagging Safeway & Albertsons.

Thank you for wanting to take a stand against a corporation that is impacting the health of Black and Brown communities and low-income neighborhoods.

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