Advocating for
policy change

To ensure delicious, nutritious food for all, The Food Trust creates long-lasting impact through a holistic approach that combines direct intervention and policy advocacy. The Food Trust and our partners advocate for policy change at the institutional, city, state and federal levels.

Browse our advocacy reports

Key policy interventions like Healthy Food Financing Initiatives, Nutrition Incentives, SNAP & SNAP-Ed and Farm to School efforts support our three core programming elements — access, affordability and education.




Healthy Food Financing: 

  • New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, which has helped the city attract much-needed fresh food retail development.


Farm Bill:

  • Convened a regional Farm Bill working group to advocate for the Greater Philadelphia region.


Healthy Food Financing:

  • Led the advocacy campaign with key partners across the state for Pennsylvania to invest in the first ever Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, a groundbreaking business financing program for healthy food access. The program was implemented from 2004-2010 with our key partner, Reinvestment Fund, with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
  • Led an advocacy campaign for Pennsylvania to recapitalize the Fresh Food Financing Initiative (PA FFFI). In response to the work of The Food Trust and our partners, Pennsylvania began appropriating $1 million annually to the program in 2018, and created a separate special COVID-19 relief program for healthy food retailers with CARES Act funding in 2020. The new PA FFFI program has invested in nearly 40 grocery stores, farmers markets, and healthy corner stores  in rural and urban communities across the state since 2018 that serve over an estimate 500,000 people.
  • Encourage fresh food retail development in states across the country through healthy food financing initiatives, including the Massachusetts Food Trust Program, the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative and the Deep South Healthy Food Initiative.


Nutrition Incentives: 

  • Led an advocacy campaign for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to invest in a nutrition incentives program that can provide fruit and vegetable coupons for people using SNAP and other public assistance programs.



  • Work with partners in six states across the country to develop policy recommendations to increase participation in SNAP.
  • Work with HBCUs in three states across the country to identify barriers in their ability to access federal SNAP-Ed funding which could be used to conduct nutrition education in communities of color experiencing health disparities.


Farm to School:

  • Lead the Pennsylvania Farm to School Network, a collaborative that works to advance farm to school strategies and policies across the commonwealth. Policy priorities, including a funding mechanism to strengthen school meal programs, are outlined in the Network’s strategic plan. Farm to school includes the purchasing of local products for child nutrition programs, school gardens, and food and agriculture education.


HFFI and Nutrition Incentives:

  • Increased healthy food access as a lead partner organization with Voices for Healthy Kids, a collaboration between the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation working to engage, organize and mobilize people to improve the health of their communities and reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.


Healthy Food Financing:



  • Educate policymakers on the SNAP-Ed program, which provides nutrition education to participants of the food stamp program and is a critical component of the comprehensive approach necessary to reverse the obesity epidemic. In Philadelphia, where childhood obesity rates are beginning to decrease, SNAP-Ed nutrition educators are active in almost every school.


Nutrition Incentives:

  • Support the funding and expansion of the GusNIP program, which provides coupons for fruit and vegetables to families who rely on SNAP or Medicaid. Serve on the National Produce Prescription Collaborative.
  • Serve on the National Produce Prescription Collaborative.


Sugar-Sweetened Beverages:

  • Led a coalition to remove soda and other sugary drinks from vending machines in Philadelphia schools and working with the School District of Philadelphia to enact one of the country’s strongest snack food policies.


Healthy Food Marketing: 

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