The winter season is upon us, and with this cold weather comes a long list of holiday celebrations. In the spirit of giving, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite foodie organizations to highlight the work they do to give back to their communities and make food that makes a difference.
Drive Change: New York, NY
What they do: An organization after our own hearts, Drive Change serves up the perfect combination of social justice and local eats, with a food truck that’s staffed by young adults returning home from jail.
Why we love them: With training, employment, and transitional phases as part of their program, Drive Change offers support that allows its participants to thrive in future employment. Their food truck, Snowday, is staffed by previously incarcerated youth who serve up seasonal options made with local ingredients.
Where you can find them: Snowday cruises the streets of New York City to spread seasonal fare with a whopping side of social justice. Follow @SnowdayTruck to find them in the city, and make your next meal make a difference.
Homeboy Industries: Los Angeles, CA
What they do: The better question is, what don’t they do? Homeboy Industries works to reduce recidivism by offering an expansive range of services for previously incarcerated members of the Los Angeles community, with support going above and beyond the employment offered in their food production services.
Why we love them: Photovaltic Training, tattoo removal, and education programs are just a few of the many, many forms of support and opportunities that make up Homeboy Industries.
Where you can find them: Visit Homeboy Industries online to browse their baked goods and merchandise, eat at their diner in LA City Hall , or find their food truck on the streets of Los Angeles.
Defy Ventures: New York, NY
What they do: Defy Ventures allows people with criminal histories the opportunity to become entrepreneurs. Their blended online program gives individuals the skills necessary to thrive in the business world.
Why we love them: This program offers a rigorous educational program including subjects such as leadership development, business planning, and financial investment. This training provides equal opportunity to all in succeeding as leaders in business.
Where you can find them: With offices in New York City, but opportunities stretching across the U.S., Defy Ventures has lots to offer and many ways for you to get involved.
Dave’s Killer Bread: Portland, OR
What they do: This company is powered by a belief in second chances and employs those with a criminal background to bake their bread. Dave’s Killer Bread combines wholesome ingredients with a purpose in order to bring health to customers and opportunities to employees.
Why we love them: Organic wheat, Non-GMO ingredients, and a foundation that works to help other companies establish second chance employment practices? We say, bring on the bread!
Where you can find them: Based in Oregon, Dave’s Killer bread is sold at grocery stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club. Check out the complete list of stores where you can get your killer bread!
Planting Justice: Oakland, CA
What they do: On a mission to make nutritious food accessible to all, Planting Justice works in high schools, prisons, and with the greater Oakland community to implement gardening and environmental education programs.
Why we love them: Planting Justice works to create living wage Green Jobs for former inmates. They also partner with San Quentin State Prison to teach weekly meditation and gardening classes.
Where you can find them: Planting Justice is based in Oakland California, but you can visit them anytime online at www.plantingjustice.org to see what they’re up to and get involved with their work.
Delancey Street Restaurant: Oakland, CA
What they do: A long-time staple in the San Francisco community, Delancey Street Restaurant is one of the many enterprises associated with the Delancey Street Foundation, which works to support the homeless and ex-convict population.
Why we love them: This restaurant was created by the community that Delancey Street Foundation serves, and continues to be shaped by the cultures and traditions of those individuals. With menu items that focus on comfort foods and homey recipes, this restaurant incorporates the heart of the Delancey community into every bite.
Where you can find them: If you’re in the Northern California, head up to the Delancey Street Restaurant, or find them at the Crossroads Café, Bookstore & Art Gallery!
Red Rabbit: New York, NY
What they do: Red Rabbit is a B Certified company that tackles school lunches head-on! By providing more children with nutritious food that’s made from scratch, they help kids form healthy relationships with the food they eat.
Why we love them: Red Rabbit supports the local food community in NYC by partnering with elementary schools to provide guidance on food preparation and waste management. With cooking classes and gardening labs offered to students and their families, Red Rabbit brings food and culinary education into the classroom.
Where you can find them: You can incorporate Red Rabbit’s lunch programs into the cafeteria at a school near you, or take part in a food, garden, or family lab!
Vital Farms: Austin, TX
What they do: Not only does this farm use ethical, sustainable, and cruelty-free practices to produce their eggs, they’ve created a collection of family farms that join them in following a set of organic agricultural practices.
Why we love them: By raising “the happiest hens in the world,” Vital Farms not only takes care of their animals, environment, and customers, they also help create opportunities for other farms to engage in sustainable, ethical agricultural practices.
Where you can find them: Learn more about Vital Farms, meet their farmers, or inquire about joining their mission!
Fresh Truck: Boston, MA
What they do: Fresh Truck makes food markets mobile by converting school buses into hubs of fresh produce. By providing healthy food that is accessible and affordable, Fresh Truck is changing the health of communities around Boston.
Why we love them: Talk about a magic school bus! In just two years, Fresh Truck has sold 17,000 pounds of fresh food to communities in need, and has hosted cooking demos and block parties that center around practices of healthy eating.
Where you can find them: Catch the bus at its weekly stops around Boston, or learn more about their impact.
Hilary’s Eat Well: Lawrence, KS
What they do: This B Corporation is serving up allergen-free veggie burgers and dressings, all of which are certified non-GMO, USDA organic, and delicious!
Why we love them: Great ingredients, solar-powered production processes, and a food everyone can enjoy: there has never been a better reason for making your Monday meatless and treating yourself to Hilary’s!
Where you can find them: Get to a Whole Foods Market, or other natural foods store, and get your veggie on!
Grazin’: Hudson, New York
What they do: Diner comfort food is taking a turn for the sustainable in this restaurant’s efforts to serve local, organic, grass-fed, ethically produced meat products.
Why we love them: We’re proud to call Grazin’ our neighbor! With acres for raising Angus in Columbia County, New York, and restaurants in New York City, Grazin’ is the first restaurant in the world to be Animal Welfare Approved.
Where you can find them: Look for their new restaurant in Tribeca, NYC, or visit them in Hudson!
The Green Truck: San Diego & LA, CA
What they do: This food truck runs on the leftover vegetable oil used to cook its food, has a kitchen powered by solar panels, and serves certified organic and local produce.
Why we love them: From the food they serve to the fuel that powers them, The Green Truck stays sustainable. Even the packaging they use is compostable, and is returned to the farms from which they source their produce.
Where you can find them: If you’re roaming the sunny streets of Los Angeles or San Francisco, you can catch up with The Green Truck along their weekly stops.