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Setting the Table for a Sustainable and Just Food System

The Foundation Review, Summer 2009

By Kien Lee, Ph.D., Community Science; Kolu Zigbi, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation; and Marjorie Nemes, M.Sc., Community Science

As consumers and producers, people of color have been affected disproportionately by systemic problems in the food system. This article describes the Diversifying Leadership for Sustainable Food Policy initiative, a joint effort of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to build the capacity of organizations led by people of color to engage in policy and advocacy work.   

Grantees successfully built their capacity to engage in policy work (e.g., increased capacity to identify policy targets), increased their organizational capacity (e.g., diversified boards),  improved their communities’ capacity (e.g., created opportunities for dialogue and improved access to fresh foods), and impacted policies related to sustainable food (e.g., provided resources for small and new farmers).