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Food Empowerment Project Newsletter

June 27, 2017

  1. Recognition for Our Work on Access to Healthy Foods
  2. School Supply Drive for the Children of Farm Workers
  3. Integrity, Solidarity, and Consistency
  4. Food Empowerment Project in the Media
  5. Speak Out for the Chickens Update
  6. Education and Outreach

1. Recognition of Our Work on Access to Healthy Foods

FoodinstoreA big part of our work at Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) is improving access to healthy foods in communities of color and low-income communities.

In response to our continuing work in Vallejo, Solano County’s Public Health Department presented us with a certificate in recognition of our work in the community. They commended F.E.P. for efforts that will “significantly improve community wellness, increase access to healthy food selections, and promote healthier living in Vallejo.”

We are thrilled that our work is having such a positive impact on the community!

2. School Supply Drive for the Children of Farm Workers

Mark your calendars! It’s nearly time for our school supply drive!

July 10th-23rd we’ll be collecting new school supplies to distribute to the children of farm workers as a thank you for their hard work bringing food to our tables and to demonstrate that we know their families make tremendous sacrifices to ensure their children succeed.

We’re delighted that some supplies have already come in. First, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Jonah (pictured right the in blue jersey), who made the choice to collect school supplies for our drive in lieu of birthday presents in 2015, Deven Nessel (pictured right in the blue t-shirt) thoughtfully and generously turned his birthday party into a collection site for F.E.P. so that his birthday would benefit other children!

Then, the organizers of the Hamilton sing-along in Petaluma (where our office is located) asked attendees to bring school supplies for our drive.

Picture left: Leo and Van Giotis dropping off school supplies from the Hamilton sing along.

Here is our list of needed school supplies and drop-off locations. Please share our Facebook Event page with others so they can join in supporting the kids!

Not local but hoping to support the drive?
You can ship supplies directly to our office!

3. Integrity, Solidarity, and Consistency


“Never once did I feel like an ally.
The entire time I just felt like I was doing what was right;
I was fighting for everyone to feel safe and equal.”

– lauren Ornelas

F.E.P. is all about connecting the dots between social injustices. As a vegan food justice organization, we see integrity, solidarity, and consistency as central to our mission.

That’s why F.E.P.’s founder and executive director, lauren Ornelas, fought so hard to get the “All Gender Restroom” signs we always use put up at a recent F.E.P. event. You can read about how lauren connected the dots for the people managing the site so that all our event guests could feel welcome and safe in her latest blog “I didn’t feel like an ally.” She hopes you’ll be inspired to show integrity, solidarity, and consistency in your own life and activism as well.

Feel inspired by the work F.E.P. is doing and how we do it? Donate today!

Donate Now!

4. Food Empowerment Project in the Media

We were thrilled that Huffington Post again turned to lauren for her food justice expertise in their recent coverage of an app aimed towards helping consumers make ethical food choices. It’s fantastic that F.E.P. is recognized as a leader in this area!

And while we’re on the subject of apps facilitating ethical food choices, we want to give a shout out to Callie and Nichole of Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack! (VWPA), who were successful in getting Ben & Jerry’s to disclose the country of origin for their chocolate (sadly, we can’t recommend their vegan ice cream). Inspired by our work on corporate transparency, VWPA took up this important effort. Don’t have our vegan chocolate app yet? Download it here!

”I really do my best to empower women, especially
young women and women of color, to recognize their power.”

– lauren Ornelas, interviewed by Our Hen House.

In Our Hen House’s June 3rd podcast, lauren talks all things F.E.P., sharing why she went vegan and discussing important food justice issues, including the need to listen to community members’ voices regarding healthy food choices.

5. Speak Out for the Chickens Update

When F.E.P. began our outreach in front of Petaluma Poultry slaughterhouse, no other activist or organization was taking action there. Now, after more than three years of work, another organization will be undertaking demonstrations at that location. As a result, we are stopping our Petaluma Poultry demonstrations and are researching another outreach idea lauren has been mulling over for some time. With our offices based in an area that’s heavily focused on animal agriculture, there’s no lack of options for raising awareness of animals’ plight in the food system. We look forward to updating you when we’re ready to share our exciting new plan!

6. Education and Outreach

Our outreach to kids doesn’t stop with the school supply drive. We are regularly interviewed by school children of all ages (including college students and graduate students!) who want to learn more about food justice. lauren is always sure to mention why we are a vegan food justice organization. Often, she’s the first person in the children’s lives to address the issue of animals in the food system.

The kids always appreciate learning from us, and we are thrilled to be a part of their education. Check out these adorable thank-you cards from a group of Denver fifth-graders.

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