Thanks to all of you who support our work.

I could not think of a better way to start this email – other than to let you know how excited I am with our growth and the outpouring of support we get for the work we do. And much of that is thanks to you!

From liking us on Facebook to reading our blog to spreading the word about our chocolate list and distributing our brochures, YOU are the reason that the mission of Food Empowerment Project has gone from an idea to a belief system that has others thinking.

This year saw these new items:


Groups such as NYC’s Vegan Drinks, Vegan Bake, Microist, Veggie Grill Santa Monica, and Food Fight! all organized fundraisers for us, resulting in close to $2,000. Thanks to you all!

Food inequality 

Our work on access to healthy foods in communities of color and low-income communities continued with outreach to policymakers at the city, county and state levels. And with support from the Food Summit at Stanford University, we now have a researcher to help us with our work on access to healthy foods in impacted communities in Santa Clara County.


Food Empowerment Project was named one of GuideStar and Charity Navigator’s 2011’s Top Rated Social Justice Non-profits.

VegNews highlighted us as one of the “10 Nonprofits You Need to Know.”

Conferences, Events & Outreach 

We spoke at Vegan Berkeley; Vancouver, Canada; Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand; VegFest San Francisco; and local universities: Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Chico State.

Our blog Appetite for Justice covered a variety of issues, including a three-part series on a farm workers reality tour, racism in the animal movement, kids not knowing the difference between a potato and a tomato, my trip Down Under, vegan cookbooks, and healthy food inequality in the schools.

We donated more than 50 shirts, six pairs of vegan shoes, coats, silverware and dishes to farm workers and their families.

F.E.P. played a key role in generating grassroots support for AB 376, the California law that will ban the sale, trade and possession of shark fins beginning in 2013.

This year also saw the loss of one of our biggest supporters, Marti Kheel, the co-founder ofFeminists for Animal Rights. She supported our work in every way imaginable. If you don’t know about Marti, we encourage you to check out her website and learn more about this amazing individual.

We are thankful to be joined by other volunteers to do this important work, but we also need your financial support. 

In 2012 we plan to do the following:

  • Work on increasing awareness of companies not being transparent about their chocolate supply chain.
  • Coordinate three focus groups in impacted communities in San Jose to discuss access to healthy foods.
  • Continue discussions with various organizations and seek solutions regarding policies that currently do not protect farm workers or their families.

We look forward to your continued support in 2012 and wish you a Happy New Year!

With respect and solidarity,

lauren Ornelas
Founder/Executive Director

P.S. We truly are the only organization of our kind, and we need YOU to continue to help us.