Helping Food Leaders Become Powerful Advocates

by Alexina Cather, MPH
Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series

Name: Equity Advocates

What they do: Equity Advocates (EA) is a nonprofit working to build up the political power of community-based food access organizations. When it comes to fighting for food equity, advocacy is one of our most powerful tools. That’s why food access organizations and their leaders need a strong voice in government – to ensure that officials are working to create, fund  implement community-driven policies and programs that support food equity. Many of these organizations lack the funding, resources, in depth policy knowledge  or connections to engage in advocacy, missing out on critical opportunities to influence government policy and funding decisions.

How they do it: Equity Advocates partners with nonprofit organizations with missions focused on ending poverty and improving healthy food access in low income areas. These organizations operate a variety of programs including farmers’ markets and urban farms, healthy food retail, nutrition education, and economic development initiatives.  EA  provides these organizations and their leaders  with the backend infrastructure and tailored advocacy support they need to effectively engage in the policy process. EA believes in the expertise and power of local community leaders. Our high touch and personalized training program and services leverage our partner organizations’ food systems and community expertise and provides them with the technical assistance, skills, knowledge, and resources they need to fully engage in the political process to advance their missions.

To become a partner and gain access to our services and programming, 501(c)(3) organizations pay annual dues. To ensure our services are accessible to organizations of all sizes and financial means, the partner dues are calculated on a sliding scale based on an organization’s annual budget.

Mission: Equity Advocates provides policy education, advocacy training, and coalition-building services to New York State-based nonprofit leaders working to improve healthy food access for underserved urban communities. Through this work, EA aims to create a nonpartisan grassroots movement to ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of race or income, can access healthy and affordable food.

Latest project/campaign: In 2019, Equity Advocates is working with a New York City cohort of community food access organizations.

Major Funding: N/A

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: N/A

 Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: Equity Advocates is working to build an equitable food system with two female co-founders and all female identifying board of directors and advisory board.   

FACT SHEET: Location: 165 Court St #264 Brooklyn, NY 11201Core Programs: At Equity Advocates, our mission is to provide partners with everything they need to advocate effectively. To do so, we offer a wide range of support.

Guidance and Strategy: In a constantly changing political landscape, Equity Advocates provides partners with sophisticated political analysis, ongoing advocacy training, long-term strategic thinking, and frequent calls to action to advance their missions as well as to keep them informed about funding opportunities.

Relationship Building: EA works at a grassroots level to help partners have a consistent and amplified voice in government. To do so, partners get instant access to a vibrant coalition of like-minded organizations. Equity Advocates also help partners foster and maintain relationships with elected officials, keeping them connected and informed about the issues that matter most to their community.

Number of staff: N/A 

Number of volunteers: N/A

Areas served: New York State

Year Started: 2018

Directors: Leah Kabran Eden and Gabrielle BlavatskyContact Information: [email protected]

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