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The Food Trust

September 30, 2008  • 

Started as a produce market in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal, The Food Trust has expanded its mission to increase access to affordable and nutritious foods, improve the health of children and adults through better nutrition and to support local farms and sustain the environment. The Food Trust accomplishes these goals by working on initiatives to improve food access, launching education and marketing campaigns to help consumers improve their health and advocating for public policies that advance these initiatives.

The program has been a remarkable success: one part of it, increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in elementary schools, along with nutrition education, is credited with helping reduce the incidence of overweight students by 50%, according to a study published in the journal, Pediatrics. The Food Trust is expanding into New York, Louisiana and Illinois, and executive director Yael Lehman believes every American city could benefit. “When the only thing that is available is fast food, that’s what kids will be eating,” she says.

The Food Trust’s website offers a wealth of useful reports and resources, including their Healthy Schools Toolkit, which serves as a guide for teachers and other members of the school community in implementing The Food Trust’s highly successful Comprehensive School Nutrition Policy Initiative.