Strengthening Detroit Voices

At Fair Food Network, we believe that policy should be informed by the insights from the field.

In 2012, we launched the Strengthening Detroit Voices project to bring together community leaders from across the city and elevate for policymakers the real-world issues residents face putting healthy food on their table.

The project kicked off with a convening of nearly 50 community leaders and partners organizations to learn from one another and share concerns with the goal to develop shared policy priorities.

Through this project, Food Network hosted a Telephone Town Hall in December 2012 to hear directly from Detroiters. We learned that access and affordability are the two biggest barriers residents face in feeding their family healthy food. Listen to a recording of the town hall here.


Strengthening Detroit Voices also provided micro-grants to partner organizations to advance their work. This included Small Plates, a profile series led by Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Developed to give voice to the thousands of people in southeastern Michigan who face food insecurity, it tracked five individuals for six months pulling from in-depth interviews and time spent in their homes and going shopping together. The final report shares their stories and explores the real struggles people in the community face.

This project culminated in a 2014 trip to Washington, DC, where participating members met directly with policymakers at the federal level.