Food First

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Food First "is rooted in the early experiences and sensibilities of its founders. Joseph Collins, beginning in his teens, saw poverty and hunger first hand as he traveled around the Third World with the Catholic Maryknoll Brothers and Fathers. Frances (Frankie) Moore Lappé grew up surrounded by adults who believed that their actions could make their community a better place to live; she went on to study at Earlham, the Quaker college.

"Both Joe and Frankie came of age during the 1960s, a time when many young people were immersed in the civil rights movement and demonstrating against the war in Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty brought Frankie to Philadelphia, where she first realized that something more would be needed to end hunger and poverty. This epiphany led to her search for an answer to the question, Why is there poverty in the richest nation on earth?, and eventually to her writing Diet for a Small Planet. This book struck a strong chord with those who read it: it sold two million copies over its first 10 years, largely by word of mouth.

"At the same time, Joe Collins was working at the Washington think tank Institute for Policy Studies, writing the book Global Reach, about the impact of multinational corporations in the Third World. He also coauthored a report titled World Hunger: Causes and Remedies, which was written to challenge the official UN world food assessment for the 1974 World Food Conference in Rome.

"Joe and Frankie met at the first World Food Day in 1975, and shortly thereafter they incorporated the Institute for Food and Development Policy and began work on the book Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity (published in 1977)." [1]

Funders 2005

Accessed August 2007: [2]

Foundation, religious and business support

  • Alliance for Democracy, Saint Louis, MO • Alliance for Democracy, Peace & Green Party • Asplundh Foundation • Barbara and Victor Ulmer Fund of the Agape Foundation • Bellman Allan Trust • Bernice Jenkins Foundation • Bird in Hand Farm • Blossoms Montessori • Blue Hill Coop • Border Crossings • Brattleboro Food Co-op • Bullfrog Films Inc. • California Orchids • Capsule Connection • Church of the Epiphany • Citybikes Workers Cooperative • Clermont Foundation • Collaborative Change Works • Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose • Dominicans of St Catharine • Ecology Action • Edwand Handelman Fund • Elan Organics Coffees • Emerald Valley Kitchen • Endicott Charitable Trust • Eppler Fund, Austin Community Foundation • Feinstein Foundation • Fireland Open Schools • Food Conspiracy • Frame Surveying & Mapping • Franciscan Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation Office • Gendler Family Foundation • Ginia Davis Wexler Trust • Glickenhaus Foundation • Golden State Lodge • Gratitude House • Greenhaven Press • Hampshire Group Limited • Harold K. Raisler Foundation • Hill-Snowdon Foundation, • Holden Village Resource Center • I & R Foundation • InJoy Videos • Institute for Integrative Nutrition • James Irvine Foundation • Joseph Rosen Foundation • Kai Pond Builders Inc. • Kirby Sack Properties Inc. • Knoll Farms • Kurz Family Foundation • Lawson Valentine Foundation • Lifework Foundation • Lincoln Crow Strategies Communications • Maine Coast Sea Vegetables • Making Waves • Marrone Construction Inc. • Maryknoll Office for Concern, Peace, Social Justice, and Integrity of Creation • McKenzie River Gathering Foundation • Meshewa Farm foundation • Morning Glory Natural Foods • Muse Family Foundation • National Community Development Institute • Natural Harvest Farm • New Pioneer Coop • New Society FundNew World Foundation • Novich Family Foundation • Nutrition for Optimal Health Associates Inc. • Office Information Systems • On Shore Foundation • One World Family Way, Inc. • Pacific Bakery Inc. • Pax Christi of New Orleans • Peaceworks • Philanthropic Ventures foundation • ProQuest • Rainbow Grocery Cooperative • Real Food Store • Russell’s Garden Center Charitable Foundation Inc. • Saint John Vianney Parish • San Francisco Medical Research • School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mankato • School Sisters of Notre Dame, Saint Louis • SEI Investments • Sinsinawa Dominicans Inc. • Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati • Sisters of Charity of Nazareth • Sisters of Charity of the BVM • Sisters of Saint Dominic • St. Joseph Church, Hawthorne, CA • St. Joseph Church, Laguna, NM • Teitel Family Trust • The Food Project • The RMF Foundation Inc • The Thanksgiving Fund • The Tzedakah Fund • The West Fund • The Winky Foundation • Tides Foundation • Tompkins Charitable Gift Fund • Trillium Natural Foods • United Methodist Church, General Board of Global Ministries • Villa St Joseph • Weller Investment Company • Womanshare • Wooden Shoe Gardens • World Hunger Year

In-kind donors 2005

  • Acme Bread Company • Avalos Farm • Berkeley Bowl • Blossom Bluff Orchards • Blue Heron Farm • Catalan Farm • Eco Village Farm • Firme Farm • Fitz Fresh Mushrooms • Frey Vineyards • Frog Hollow Farm • Full Belly Farm • Happy Boy Farm • Kamameshi House • Inkworks Press • Lundberg Family Farm • McLaughlin Coffee Company • Riverdog Farm • Semifreddis Bakery • Tip Top Farm • Trader Joe’s • Vital Vittles • Whole Foods

Collaborating Organizations and Coalitions

  • Action AidAfrica Action • Alameda County Community Food Bank • Black Farmers and Agriculturists Association • California Food and Farming Coalition • California Food and Justice Coalition • Center for African Studies, Stanford University • Clinton Library • Coalition of Immokalee Workers • Community Food Security Coalition • Farm Fresh Choice Program of the Ecology Center • Federation of Southern Cooperatives • Focus on the Global South • Food First Information and Action Network International • Food Systems Working Group—UC Santa Cruz • Food Trade and Nutrition Network • Friends of the MST • Global Exchange • Heifer Project • House Subcommittee on Africa—Global Human Rights and International Operations • International Development Exchange • Korea Solidarity Committee • Land Access Membership Action Team • Land Loss Prevention Project • Land Research Action Network • Landless People’s Movement, South Africa • Landless Workers Movement (MST), Brazil • Laos Ministry of Agriculture • National Campaign on Sustainable Agriculture’s Commodity Policy Dialogue • National Family Farm Coalition • Organic Consumers Association • Our World is Not for Sale Coalition • Oxfam Solidarity, Belgium • People’s Grocery • Pesticide Action Network • Rede Social de Justica e Direitos Humanos • Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights • Small World Institute • TransAfrica Forum • University of Agriculture, Havana • Via Campesina • Washington Office on Africa • World Social ForumWorld Watch Institute

People (2010)

Accessed May 2010: [3]

Directors (2007)

Accessed August 2007: [4]

Staff (2007)

Accessed August 2007: [5]

Food First Fellows



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Food First History, Food First, accessed August 19, 2007.
  2. 2005 Annual Report, Food First, accessed August 19, 2007.
  3. Directors, Food First, accessed May 8, 2010.
  4. Food First Board Members, Food First, accessed August 19, 2007.
  5. Food First Board Members, Food First, accessed August 19, 2007.