The James Beard Foundation® (JBF) announced today the priorities that will guide its advocacy work through 2028. Championing the needs of independent restaurant chefs and operators, the Foundation will advocate directly for policies that make possible a more equitable and sustainable food system for those in the food and beverage industry and beyond across three pillars: racial and gender equity; sustainability; and industry culture and practices.
As the country’s leading culinary nonprofit in support of the independent restaurant industry, the James Beard Foundation is uniquely positioned to leverage its long support of the chef-operator community to mobilize on behalf of urgently needed policies that touch our country’s food system. As such, JBF has worked in partnership with hundreds of chefs to outline the issues that most greatly impact its constituents. These include:
- Funding and market-access for BIPOC farmers and small producers
- Nutrition security and SNAP expansion
- A living wage and equal pay for all those involved in the restaurant supply chain
- Conservation programs that prioritize soil and water health, as well as food waste and composting
- Tax credits for independent restaurants that offer specific benefits to their employees
- Accelerated visas for foreign food service workers
- Federal funding for mental health programs
“At the James Beard Foundation, ‘Good Food For Good’ is not just a mantra, but a blueprint to creating a more delicious, equitable, and sustainable future,” said Anne McBride, Vice President of Programs, James Beard Foundation, “Indeed, we believe that good food—excellence both on and off the plate—can be a driving force for change. With our new impact priorities, we are committed to working with the independent restaurant community to ensure this vision is reflected in the policies critical to our entire industry and broader food system.”
This represents a natural evolution of the work of the James Beard Foundation. It is the first time that the organization will commit to policy priorities of its own, since launching its chef-advocacy training more than a decade ago.Since 2012, the JBF Chef Bootcamp for Policy and Change has trained chefs across the country to mobilize in support of food system issues they care deeply about. Thanks to these workshops and effort, almost 400 chefs have gone on to successfully advocate for the provision of nutritious school meals, protection of SNAP recipients, support American fisheries, reduction of food waste, and fight for safer, more regenerative food production across the United States with the technical support of JBF. The next Chef Bootcamp—the 25th iteration that will take place October 1-3 at Carnation Farms in Carnation, Wash.—will primarily focus on inspiring chefs to champion a new 2023/24 Farm Bill that will reduce hunger, increase conservation, and address climate change.
In addition to the Chef Bootcamp, the Foundation has expanded its offerings to ensure chefs, culinary leaders, and food advocates have the tools, resources, and support to effectively advocate for meaningful change at all levels of the food system. Ranging from one-hour webinars to half-day workshops to ten-week programs, the Foundation’s advocacy commitments include but are not limited to:
- Chef-supported exchange with lawmakers on the Hill and at home
- Leveraging the JBF voice through national sign-on letters, communications campaigns, and public-facing initiatives
- Educating policymakers and consumers through policy briefs, toolkits, and trainings
- Fostering the collective power of chefs around shared policy priorities and community action
ABOUT THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION
The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that celebrates and supports the people behind America's food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for Good®. JBF brings its mission to life through the annual Awards, industry and community-focused programs, advocacy, partnerships, and events across the country. Coming soon, for the first time in the Foundation's history, exceptional culinary talent, industry leaders, and visitors from NYC and beyond can experience unforgettable dining and educational programming at Pier 57—inspiring food and beverage devotees for decades to come. Learn more at jamesbeard.org, sign up for our newsletter, and follow @beardfoundation on social media.
ABOUT JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION PROGRAMS
The James Beard Foundation's Programs help the independent restaurant industry reach new standards around equity, sustainability, and workplace practices to ensure that all involved in its supply chain can thrive. We look to turn independent restaurant jobs into long and healthy independent restaurant careers; to expand who has access to leadership, visibility, financial stability, and capital; and to use the power of chefs for climate change mitigation. Our mission comes to life through training programs, policy advocacy, and harnessing the agency of chefs for change.