An initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Power, Policy,

Every child deserves to live in a community that supports their health and wellbeing. A community with safe, affordable, stable housing and access to healthy, culturally relevant foods. A community with jobs that pay a fair and livable wage. But the barriers built in front of some families make that difficult. These barriers, often driven by issues of race and class, and built up over generations, are linked with many of the health challenges children and families face, including obesity.

We know that by advancing policies to support access to healthy food and build healthier communities, we will have impacts beyond childhood obesity. That is where our work is moving.

The work we and so many others have been doing in recent years—to recognize, name, and confront the many systemic barriers to health and wellbeing—will set us on a path toward more equitable opportunities for health for all children and families.

Advancing a Narrative to Protect Kids’ Health

RWJF is working to understand and remove structural barriers to health and wellbeing, including those driven by racism and discrimination. Shifting public narratives away from those that create harm to those that foster belonging, health equity, and shared solutions is critical to this work.

Talking About Childhood Obesity: We Can Do Better

Prevailing narratives on childhood obesity may have unintentionally contributed to anti-fat bias in children. We believe we can do better.

The Digital Marketplace Can Create Inequity, or Confront It

We believe we can and must shift the current narrative to focus more on improving all people’s access to healthy food and less on advancing corporate gains.

Building a Shared Vision for Food Justice

The stories behind our food are complex. What we eat, where we shop, and how much food we have depend on so many systems and forces.

Making Healthy Food Accessible for All

We need to support strong local food systems that provide enough nutritious and affordable food for every person. That will take partners working together to dismantle structural racism and engage community members in building shared solutions, especially people most impacted by barriers to food access.

Building Fair, Sustainable Food Systems that Nourish Our Health

We can create a new model for our food system, one that fully integrates racial equity and economic inclusion. It is not a simple task, but with hard work the food system and policy landscape that our children participate in tomorrow will be a better one than the one we have today.

What Is / What Can Be

With this storytelling project, Generations United invites grandfamilies to share their lived experiences, including their challenges with food insecurity, and help us to see, imagine, and create new futures.

Creating Communities We Can Thrive In

How can we create the conditions in our communities to ensure everyone has a fair shot at being as healthy as they can be? It starts with recognizing and reforming the policies and practices that systematically exclude people from opportunities to thrive.

Solving Our Housing Crisis Can Help Address Poverty and Child Hunger

The team at Eviction Lab is studying the impacts of America’s housing crisis and exploring solutions that can help protect kids and families from experiencing hunger, poverty and eviction.

Nurturing Local Leaders to Build Thriving Communities

Community Food System Fellows at Vital Village Networks are working to improve local food systems to promote health and economic inclusion for all.

Values-Aligned Universal Meals

National Farm to School Network has a vision for a strong and just food system that promotes the health of all school children and benefits producers, workers, educators, and their communities.

Priority Policies and

We are in a critical window of opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of U.S. children and families through effective federal policy.

School Meals

Few programs have as broad an impact on the health of children and families as school meals.

Read our recommendations for improving equity in the meals programs


WIC plays a key role in nutrition safety for young families, and helps to keep them out of poverty.

Read our recommendations for improving access to WIC


SNAP is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, helping roughly 42 million people afford food.

Read our recommendations for strengthening the program