What is Food Day?


Food Day inspires Americans to change their diets and our food policies. Every October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to push for improved food policies. October 24 is a day to resolve to make changes in our own diets and to take action to solve food-related problems in our communities at the local, state, and national level.

Food Day was created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), but it is powered by a diverse coalition of food movement leaders and organizations, including student leaders, public offices, school districts, and local organizers. (top)

Why Food Day?


The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment. Eating Real can save your own health—indeed, your life—and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path. With America’s resources, there’s no excuse for hunger, low wages for food and farm workers, or inhumane conditions for farm animals. That’s why Food Day invites you to be a part of the movement that seeks to transform the way Americans eat. (top)

What are the Food Day priorities?


Food Day's national priorities address overarching concerns within the food system and provide common ground for building the food movement. Food Day aims to:

See our Food Day Priorities page for more information. (top)

Does Food Day have working definitions of "sustainable" or "real food"?


While the terms "sustainable" and "real" are open to many interpretations and definitions, we define "sustainable food” as food that is affordable, accessible, and produced with care for the environment, animals, and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it.

The idea of "real food," meaning food that has healthy, tasty, whole ingredients and provides essential nutrients for human health, is presented in contrast to food that is produced in an unsustainable way and may be filled with chemical additives and empty “junk” calories. It includes economically and socially just food production from farm to fork. (top)

Who partners with Food Day?


Food Day brings together 100-plus national partners including the American Public Health Association, Farm to School Network, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Farmers Market Coalition, Humane Society of the United States, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Bolthouse Farms, and others. Thousands of nonprofits, public agencies, and mayors’ offices join parents, teachers, and citizens from all walks of life to make Food Day happen. See a full list of our partners(top)


What happens on October 24?


Food Day seeks to inspire community action in every city and state in the country, with individuals and organizations coming together on and around October 24 to learn, debate, and mobilize to improve our food system and the American diet. In 2015, over 8,000 events took place in all 50 states. See a previous Campaign Report highlighting some of the best Food Day activities in 2014. Community action may mean organizing an event, leading a new initiative, or advocating for better food policies. Organizations and individuals use Food Day to celebrate what our food system does right, advocate for change, and to highlight the work they are already doing. (top)

How can I get involved in Food Day?


There are a number of ways to get involved depending on your time, interest, and resources. Here are a few:

Do you have ideas for events I could hold?


  • -Introduce cooking lessons in your school or plant a vegetable garden.
  • -Have a healthy potluck dinner and discussion at your home, church, or synagogue. 
  • -Host a community celebration with healthy and local foods.
  • -Hold food policy debates, lectures, and a hunger banquet on your college campus.
  • -Encourage your city officials to adopt better local food policies.
  • -Find your local food policy council and get involved. Or if your community doesn’t have one yet, start one.
  • -Demand that your state and local health departments fight obesity and other diet-related diseases.

For more event ideas, please check see a previous Campaign Report, or see our Guide for Organizers(top)

Can companies organize activities or events for Food Day?


Food Day provides a vehicle for a wide variety of stakeholders in the food system to work together to spread the message about healthy, affordable, and sustainable food to the broader public. In the past, Food Day partnered with a number of companies to advance the goals of the campaign. Although neither CSPI nor Food Day accepts corporate sponsorship, many companies participated by engaging customers, vendors, and employees through wellness programs and marketing materials.

Bon Appétit Management Company, which manages 500-plus cafés in 32 states, partnered with Food Day and Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on a massive three-pronged sodium-reduction campaign.

LSG Sky Chefs, the world’s largest provider of in-flight services, including catering, used Food Day as an opportunity to continue the internal health and wellness education campaign it launched on Food Day 2011. During the weeks leading up to October 24, the company held a nutrition education campaign for its 8,600 employees in North America, gave away seed packets, and created digital boards at 40 locations promoting local farmers markets.

United Natural Foods, Inc., the leading distributor of natural and organic foods, organized events in its facilities across the country. Online grocer FreshDirect encouraged customers to donate to Food Day. And each Hannaford supermarket location in Massachusetts had activities in store around healthy eating. (top)

Can I use the Food Day logo to brand our local Food Day event?


Any nonprofit, not-for-profit, or public institution may use the Food Day logo freely (even if you have corporate sponsors for your event). If you are a company, please email foodday@cspinet.org to discuss the permission to use the logo. (top)

Can anyone host a Food Day event?


We encourage anyone and everyone to host Food Day events, no matter your experience or background. For event ideas and organizing tips please see a past Campaign Report and Guide for Organizers(top)

What does it mean to be a Food Day coordinator?


A Food Day coordinator is someone who has the time to dedicate to stimulating multiple activities, initiatives, or campaigns sponsored by multiple organizations, a city, county, or region. Coordinators must commit to the volunteer position through October. Each coordinator’s contact information is public on our website so that others in the area can get in touch. In 2015, Food Day was organized thanks to nearly 100 coordinators. One important role for the Food Day organizer is to keep track of Food Day events and eventually report them back to the state coordinator or national office. Interested in coordinating for your neighborhood, town/city, state, or region? Sign up here and a member of the Food Day team will be in touch with you shortly.  (top)

Who is the target audience for Food Day?


The simple answer is "everyone who eats." In particular, we focus on events around schoolchildren, university students, policymakers, families, and communities most affected by diet-related diseases or lack of food access. We also hope that Food Day will be a chance to raise awareness among those who might not be aware of the complex issues around food production and consumption in our country. (top)


Where does Food Day get its funding?


Food Day is supported by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI produces Nutrition Action Healthletter, which has almost a million subscribers countrywide; this is also the main source of funding for the organization. CSPI does not take any money from corporations or government. Some foundations support Food Day too. (top)

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