FOOD & WATER ACTION

Fight like you live here

aka FOOD & WATER ACTION   |   Washington, DC   |  foodandwateraction.org

Mission

Our food, water and climate are under constant assault by corporations who put profit over the survival of humanity. They have seized control of the very institutions that were built to protect us. We mobilize people to reclaim their political power, hold our elected officials accountable, and resist corporate control—ensuring we all have the essential resources we need to thrive. This is a fight we must win, because this planet is the only one we get. Through Food & Water Action, we mobilize regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Wenonah Hauter

Main address

1616 P St NW Suite 300

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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EIN

32-0160436

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (R05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Everyone deserves access to clean water, trustworthy food, and a climate we can depend on for the future. In reality, corporations take advantage of low-income communities to privatize water and sewer systems, siphon public water to make a profit selling it back to people in plastic bottles, and contaminate groundwater without regard for others who need it. A handful of companies control the majority of the food we can buy—which means they make most of the decisions about what we eat. Corporate mergers and bad trade deals led to the dominance of factory farms, which pollute the environment and our drinking water, wreck rural communities, and harm the welfare of animals. Climate change is a major risk to our water and food systems. Keeping fossil fuels in the ground may be the most important thing we can do to ensure clean water and safe food for everyone in the future. Pipelines for fracked natural gas and other fossil fuels threaten local communities all over the country.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Water

Food & Water Action works to change laws and elect public officials who will ensure that everyone has access to clean water managed in the public interest. Water is essential to life, and should be managed locally by authorities that are accountable to the people and their democratically-elected representatives. Public ownership ensures our public water systems are safe and affordable for everyone. Food & Water Action works directly in communities to protect people's rights to control their local water systems. Our water pipes are getting old and too many are still made of lead. These aging pipes are putting the health of entire communities in danger – children’s health, in particular. We helped get the WATER Act — Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability — introduced in Congress in 2017, which will provide dedicated federal funding to keep our water and sewer systems up to date and protect our drinking water for generations to come. Food & Water Action also lobbies for political action to protect water sources from contaminated run-off and other chemical pollutants

Population(s) Served
Adults

Food & Water Action protects food safety and promotes a sustainable and secure food system that provides healthy food for people and an economically viable living for family farmers and rural communities. We directly lobby to change laws and to hold politicians accountable.
Right now, a handful of companies control the majority of the food we can buy—which means they make most of the decisions about what we eat. Corporate mergers and bad trade deals led to the dominance of factory farms, which pollute the environment and our drinking water, wreck rural communities, and harm the welfare of animals. We also advocate for strong food labeling standards so that people know which foods are genetically-modified, and what pesticides and antibiotics may have been used. Some pesticides, like glyphosate, have been proved to be probably carcinogens so Food & Water Action is working to generate support for a ban on Roundup and work to protect our food from chemicals and other toxins. To challenge the industrial food model, we are working to ban factory farming in several key agricultural states and move toward a sustainable, equitable food system.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Climate change is a major threat to people and our water and food systems. Keeping fossil fuels in the ground to protect a livable climate may be the most important thing we can do to ensure clean water and safe food for everyone in the future. At a time when we should be making the maximum investment possible in renewable energy sources, we are instead being urged to make staggering investments in fossil fuels – including expanded fracking operations and a plethora of related infrastructure projects to transport, store, and export natural gas and oil. This new development would harm the environment and commit us to decades of reliance on fossil fuels. Food & Water Action is working to build political power that will move America OFF fossil fuels. Working at the local, state, and national level, we are cultivating "climate champions" in government and working across the board to initiate an immediate and just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. Our strategy for banning fracking everywhere in the U.S. involves building momentum at every level: Our field organizers work in communities across the country and with local grassroots groups to help them pass measures, such as bans or resolutions, to protect their communities from fracking. We’re working for bans in states across the country, as well as moratoriums as critical steps towards a complete ban. We also lobby against building new infrastructure projects that support the production or the export of natural gas or oil. We mobilize our supporters to fight new pipelines, export facilities and other projects in their communities and to speak out against federal bills and regulations that encourage more fracking and continued use of dangerous fossil fuels. True energy security will only come when we are able to meet our needs without sacrificing public health, environmental protection and a stable, livable climate

Population(s) Served
Adults

As a 501c4, Food & Water Action can support or oppose political candidates. Through our political advocacy, Food & Water Action seeks to hold elected officials to account, and ultimately vote them out of office if they will not support policies that will protect our food, water and a livable climate. We also work at the local, state and federal level to support political candidates who will protect safe food and clean water, and champion taking bold action to move the United States off of fossil fuels, oppose expanding new infrastructure to support continued use of fossil fuels, and push for policies that move us to 100% clean renewable energy to power our lives and ensure a livable future.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

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Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Using a combination of advocacy, research, litigation, and grassroots organizing, including supporting or opposing political candidates, Food & Water Action advocates for common sense policies that will result in healthy, safe and sustainably produced food, access to clean water that is managed in the public interest, and a climate that future generations can depend on to live and thrive.
To this end, we educate on these problems and mobilize people to take action for policy solutions that will protect our food, water and livable climate. Through Food & Water Action, we also hold our political officials accountable for their actions. We organize campaigns to: ban fracking and stop new fossil fuel projects; win moratoriums on factory farms and protect food safety protections; and support our public water systems to ensure clean and affordable water for all people as a human right.

Food & Water Action works by aggressively lobbying people and their legislators, supporting political candidates that will make a difference, engaging voters to strengthen our democracy, and grassroots organizing to address threats to our most essential resources. Our work is founded on the understanding that our democracy must work for people, not powerful corporations. In short, Food & Water Action’s work is based on our analysis that it takes a movement of educated and engaged people to overcome the overwhelming power of money in our political system. As a result, our organizing model is based on creating powerful campaigns with people and local groups that are directly impacted by a problem and then developing strategies and tactics to influence decision makers to support (or oppose) a given policy change. We then link these more localized or state campaigns to larger national issues. While all elements of an advocacy campaign are important, grassroots and community organizing is at the heart of all of our work.

Since our founding, Food & Water Action has grown - thanks to the support of our members and supporters - to more than 100 staff in 8 US States (including DC) and satellite operations in Europe. FWA has an online activist base of over 1,000,000 people and a volunteer network of real world activists linked to our field offices. Our organizers do the necessary grassroots education and mobilization so that regular people in their local communities can take action around specific national, state, and local issues in order to protect the health and safety of our food and water sources. We also aggressively lobby legislators on issues that are important to protecting our food, water, and climate and support political candidates that will make a difference and engage voters to strengthen our democracy. While FWA’s mission is focused on long-term systemic changes that will result in healthy food and clean water for all, we develop shorter-term campaigns to take on pressing national, state and local issues to help protect people right now where they live. Our sister organization, Food & Water Watch, supports our campaigns with research, policy advocacy, and broad-based communications to our supporters to educate and unite.

Food & Water Watch's accomplishments in our major programs include:
Climate & Energy:
-Worked to get OFF Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act introduced in Congress. It is the strongest climate change bill ever at the federal level, and would mandate a just transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2035. That bill helped set the foundation for efforts around a Green New Deal.
-Passed more than 500 local resolutions against fracking and stopped the construction of many new fossil fuel projects like pipelines and export terminals (e.g., in New York and New Jersey, among other places).
-Banned fracking in 4 states (New York, Washington, Vermont, and Maryland). The movement to ban fracking and move off of fossil fuels is now a powerful and growing global movement that is linked up with global advocacy to stop climate change. has now become a nationwide ideal and
Food:
-Launched a Factory Farm campaign , with a focus to ban factory farms that produce huge amounts of waste, anti-biotic resistant bacteria, and drive small, independent farms out of business.
-Organized a successful campaign to convince the FDA to ban the use of arsenic in chicken feed, making Maryland the first state to prohibit the chemical’s use in poultry production. This is now a ban at the national level as well.
-Blocked imports of processed chicken products from China. The FDA rarely inspects imported food despite a well-documented pattern of chemical adulteration and unsafe drug residues.
Water:
-Introduced The Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, and Reliability (WATER) Act. This bill was first introduced in 2016, and we got it reintroduced in 2018, and we now have at least 75 co-sponsors for this important legislation that will protect clean public water, dedicate federal funds for water infrastructure upgrades to replace lead pipes in homes and schools, increase access to safe water and sanitation for small rural and tribal communities, and make water service safe and affordable for all.
-Prevented Nestle from opening a water bottling plant in multiple towns along the Columbia River Gorge in both Washington and Oregon.
-Pressured the Baltimore City Council to amend the City Charter to declare the sewer system and water supply system as “inalienable”, prohibiting their sale and lease.
-Worked with dozens of communities across the country to prevent the sale of local water systems to private water companies.
-Through our political work, last cycle, we got over 100 candidates to commit to supporting bold climate legislation — and many candidates including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Deb Haaland, who we worked to elect, have followed through on that commitment. At the state and local level, earlier this year we helped elect new city council members in Denver who are champions of our ban on fracking.

Financials

FOOD & WATER ACTION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FOOD & WATER ACTION

Board of directors
as of 2/4/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Wenonah Hauter

Craig Merrilees

ILWU

Adolph Reed

Retired Professor

Mary Ricci

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/01/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data