With Gratitude and Growth PHA’s Impact on Food Equity in 2021

I often note we now have what I refer to as "the burden of knowledge," the big responsibility that comes with a deeper understanding of food’s ability to build or destroy health. We are also aware of inequity in our country, especially when it comes to food. Some have access to the healthy, sustainable, beautiful foods that we know contribute to wellbeing, while others simply do not.

PHA has committed to providing 50 million servings of vegetables and fruits to families in disadvantaged communities by 2025.

We are together in this movement to close and fill the gaps in our food system. I trust that you, like I, believe that all families living in every zip code across the United States should have affordable access to healthy, sustainable food.

Our 2021 Impact Report will highlight just some of the ways you’ve supported our work and empowered communities across the country as we strive together for food equity. Grateful cannot begin to describe the way I feel about your support. So please, take the time to be inspired by what we’ve accomplished together. And I hope you’ll stay with us on this journey toward a deeper understanding of the many barriers to food equity, as we make steady, dogged progress toward that equity.

With gratitude,

Nancy E. Roman

President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America

Healthy Hunger Relief

Doubling Our Reach to more than 14 Million Americans

When we began our work with food banks in 2016 — our Healthy Hunger Relief program — we knew from experience that emergency food assistance was the first line of defense against hunger. We were also uniquely positioned to assist food banks in getting the bad food off their shelves and the good food in.

Three volunteers smiling while packing boxes of food.
One of our 57 food bank partners, the Sheboygan County Food Bank.

Since we launched our work with food banks…

Our partners get tailored support to implement a comprehensive nutrition ranking system and over time, provide healthier, high-quality, culturally relevant, and nutritious foods in their communities.

Removed 19-million pounds of junk food; added 115-million pounds of healthy foods

Thanks to this support from PHA, we’ll have the ability to purchase even more of the healthy, fresh foods that nourish body and spirit, and also introduce a food ranking system to help make choosing wholesome food options incredibly easy.

— Carmen Cumberland, President and CEO of Community Harvest Food Bank

Healthy Hunger Relief Partners

Map of U.S. showing 57 partner locations across 27 states

Good Food for All.

Going back to the way things were Isn’t Good Enough

COVID-19 exposed gross inequities in the food system and highlighted that some families have affordable access to healthy, sustainable food and too many others don’t. That’s where we stepped in. What began in Denver, CO in May 2020 has grown to 26 cities, providing 15 million servings of vegetables and fruits across the US.

26 cities + 15 states = 15-million servings of produce.
Volunteer handing out a box of food.
Good Food for All produce boxes provide families with up to 50 servings of vegetables and fruits each week.
Volunteers unloading boxes of food from a delivery truck.
Our local partners helped make sure that families in 26 cities across the U.S. had access to fresh produce in 2021.

This program has been vital to us. Your food program has allowed us to cook healthy meals while also teaching our kids how to cook healthy.

— Peggy Suebaca, Participant

This 12-week program provides as much as 50 servings of produce to families each week.

Here’s just some of the vegetables and fruits we worked with local partners to provide to families through Good Food for All:

  • 488,004 Russet potatoes

  • 249,000 Oranges

  • 368,155 Apples

  • 135,737 Tomatoes

  • 101,250 Summer squash

  • 385,680 Leafy greens

  • 130,020 Bell peppers

We're working to provide long term access to produce through innovative work with retailers and entrepreneurs.

Good Food for All’s work doesn’t end with the produce boxes though. We’re collecting data and piloting innovative, low-cost ways to make produce affordable for families while working with retailers to provide it after the 12-week program has ended.

Volunteer handing out a box of food.
Our partner, Food Bank of Lincoln, in Lincoln, Nebraska distributed Good Food for All produce boxes in the community.

Veggies Early & Often

Helping Families Raise Adventurous Eaters

During the critical early years, kids need access to real vegetables, and parents and caregivers need the techniques to introduce them in a way that encourages healthy, adventurous eating for a lifetime. That’s why PHA created Veggies Early & Often in 2021.

Working with early childhood education providers, medical professionals and baby and toddler food makers, we’re getting more real veggies into the foods young children eat and giving families the tools and information they need to build lasting healthy eating habits.

Through exposure early and often, kids can grow to love vegetables for a lifetime.
A toddler sitting at a table trying a piece of broccoli.

It Takes a Village

Our first step in creating meaningful change for early eaters was to look at the evidence and bring the experts together. We learned a lot. We also briefed more than 16,000 people throughout 2021 on the positive, science based messages from our research.

We all want our little ones to be healthy and introducing them to veggies early and often helps them to build a strong foundation for eating healthy meals throughout life.

— Dr. Caree Cotwright, PhD, RDN, LD, University of Georgia

We are honored to work with so many experts to share hands-on information with parents, pediatricians, and early childhood educators to make sure this generation gets a strong start to a lifetime of healthy eating.

— Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH, Founder and Director, The Dr. Yum Project

We are deeply committed to shifting the paradigm in both the home and marketplace through PHA’s Veggies Early & Often campaign and as inaugural partners of their Shaping Early Palates initiative.

— Katie Thomson MS, RD, Co-Founder and CEO of Square Baby

If you’d like to learn more about what we’ve learned about creating more opportunities for kids to become adventurous eaters, you can read about it here.

Example of a food label showing the PHA logo.
Graph showing average vegetable intake of subgroups compared to recommended intake ranges: ages 2 through 4 years.

Committing to Change

PHA is proud to partner with 12 companies to introduce a new standard for vegetable offerings in the baby and toddler marketplace using PHA’s Veggies Early & Often guidelines. PHA’s icon helps parents and caregivers differentiate veggie-forward products from products that do not deliver on their veggie promise.

Pass the love with Waffles and Mochi.

On Our Way to 1 Million Meals

Launched in partnership with Michelle Obama, and the Netflix show Waffles + Mochi, an innovative meal kit program that provides families with ingredients and recipes to prepare and enjoy delicious meals at home. Each kit has all the ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes for a family of 4 to make 3 meals a week. They are designed to compete with fast food by being quick, easy and delicious.

Michelle Obama smiling with the TV-show characters, Waffles and Mochi, beside her.
Pass the Love launched in conjunction with the Netflix series, Waffles + Mochi.
Our Goal: 1 million meals.

You’ve helped us get

888,000 meals to 18,000 families in 4 cities so far.

I just wish I could get this kind of meal box all the time. It's so much better than what we can normally get.

— Denise K., Philadelphia participant

Thanks to You We’re Almost There

As we get ready to launch Pass the Love in our 5th city, we’re closing in on our 1 millionth meal. Together with our partners, we’ve made a real difference for families across the U.S.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

We’re grateful to the sponsors that have helped make Pass the Love possible.

Blue Apron, Bounty, and Walmart logos.