Purpose

Everybody at the Table for Health (EAT4Health) is a three-year national leadership development initiative of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation supported by multiple funding partners that aims to fill gaps in the existing food policy advocacy ecosystem in order to make it more inclusive of low-income and people of color communities, more responsive to grassroots needs and ideas, and more effective in terms of protecting the environment, promoting good health, and rebuilding strong local economies. 

EAT4Health will support this goal by awarding three types of grants:

  1. Support to community based organizations (CBO) to strengthen their advocacy capacity;
  2. Fellowship grants to strong community leaders nominated by each CBO partner to afford them opportunities to spend time in Washington D.C. learning about the federal policy process and developing relationships they and their communities can use to influence thought leaders and policy makers;
  3. Small grants to DC-area national advocacy organizations selected by CBOs to serve as host sites for Fellows.  

By building and leveraging the strengths of community-based organizations alongside the expertise of DC-area national advocacy organizations, EAT4Health will bring the voices of people most underserved by the current food system into the policy making process – those from black, brown and low-income communities, urban and rural, where people have insufficient access to healthy food and suffer with nutrition-related illnesses, where family farmers and urban gardeners struggle to maintain production on the land, where farm workers and food laborers are exploited, and where communities are exposed to pesticides, diesel exhaust and other pollutants rampant in our broken food system.

EAT4Health will utilize the Farm Bill debate and, after its passage, the advocacy that occurs around its implementation, as a window of opportunity for hands-on training of grassroots advocates to learn about and engage in improving federal food policy. EAT4Health will also address other policy vehicles that shape the food environment, such as transportation, media advertising, and labeling. It will support the ability of Fellows to translate understanding about federal policy back to their home communities in order to organize and mobilize constituents around proposals, messages and programs.

The EAT4Health initiative recognizes that people from affected communities have helped create projects and policy changes at the local and state level that address factors such as promoting new retail food outlets, limiting access to unhealthy food, and improving school food.  EAT4Health is premised on the belief that ideas germinating and taking root at the local level should be lifted up and replicated with federal support.