Letter from the CEO and President
Dear friends and supporters,
Twenty twenty was a year that required resilience, adaptation, and tenacity for everyone, and certainly for PHA.
Gratefully, the revised mission that we adopted in January of 2020–“to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity”–put us in a strong position to make a difference when COVID-19 upended our lives and the world. We saw so clearly in those early days of the global pandemic, that simply getting good food (mostly fruits and vegetables) to families in need was a critical emergency piece to achieving any real food equity. And through our Covid-19 Fresh Food Fund, we delivered over 2 million servings of produce to families in Colorado to New York.
But PHA is not an emergency relief organization, so we kept this question at the forefront of our minds: What would happen to these families when the emergency support went away? This question shaped our programmatic goals:
- To provide produce at a large enough volume and over enough time so the families who received it would be left with a lasting healthy habit of eating produce (i.e. demand creation).
- To learn about the families’ preferences and ability and willingness to pay for produce now that they had developed the habit.
Those two goals would set the stage for our work on creating a lasting, sustained, and affordable supply of good food for those same communities, which is right at the heart of food equity. And food equity is at the heart of PHA.
Other ways PHA improved the food supply in 2020 include:
- Working with baby food companies from across the country to get more vegetables into foods for the earliest eaters.
- Welcoming five new food banks to our group of 28 who are working to increase nutritional quality of their inventories–adding 66 million lbs of fruits, vegetables and other good foods to the system and eliminating 12 million pounds of junk food from the inventory.
- Engaging retailers in measuring healthy sales–and reporting them transparently to consumers.
All of this important work occurs in a global context–one where there is much to do if we want to grow and consume foods that are best for people and the planet. To that end, we brought together young people, retailers, and leaders in nutrition to join PHA for conversations that informed the UN Food Systems Summit taking place in Sept. 2021.
In the end, what PHA cares most about is better and more widely available fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious food for every person. I am fortunate to have a smart and seasoned team working with passion toward this critical and clear goal every day. I do feel the progress we are making–together with you–and I look forward to the next steps in our journey.
Nancy E. Roman
President & CEO
Partnership for a Healthier America