Grantee/Partner News

Six Honorees Selected for the James Beard Foundation’s Sixth Annual Leadership Awards

June 24, 2016

Grantee News From Real Food Media:


Six Honorees Selected for the James Beard Foundation’s Sixth Annual Leadership Awards

~ Annual Awards Dinner Co-Hosted by Good Housekeeping Celebrates Visionaries Responsible for Creating a Healthier, Safer, and More Sustainable Food World ~

New York, NY (June 22, 2016) – The James Beard Foundation (JBF) today announced the recipients of the sixth annual James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards. This year’s honorees are: Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez, John Boyd, Jr., Anna Lappé, Jim McGovern, and Raj Patel. The awards spotlight the important and complex realms of sustainability, food access, and public health. To bring awareness to such issues, each fall, in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation Food Conference, the nonprofit recognizes visionaries across a broad range of backgrounds who influence how, why, and what we eat.

“This year’s honorees are game-changers who have made an impact in improving childhood nutrition, fighting hunger, and promoting justice and equality in our food system,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “We are delighted to recognize these six visionaries as we celebrate our Foundation’s sixth annual Leadership Awards ceremony.”

The JBF Leadership Awards are co-hosted by Good Housekeeping, with founding support from the GRACE Communications Foundation, and will take place on October 17 at a dinner ceremony at Hearst Tower. The awards recognize specific outstanding initiatives as well as bodies of work and lifetime achievement. Criteria used to select this year’s honorees include excellence of work, innovation in approach, and scale of impact either within a community or across the nation.

“Food has become so much more than just sustenance. It is now a focal point in almost every conversation around our society, our health, and our culture. Consumers are more engaged than ever—through social media, at experiential food events, and in their homes—they are craving more information on all culinary trends,” said Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief, Jane Francisco. “Good Housekeeping has been at the forefront—with its prolific offering of recipes and advice for cooks at every level and its rigorous testing and reporting on the latest kitchen technologies in the GH Institute. For the sixth year running, Good Housekeeping is excited to partner with the James Beard Foundation and bring more inside information and expertise on the opportunities and issues surrounding the world of food today.”

2016 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award Recipients

Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez

Co-founders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

For their innovative work in forging a new human rights model in the food industry supply chain.

John Boyd, Jr.

Founder and President of the National Black Farmers Association For his leadership in the fight for African-American farmers’ civil rights.

Anna Lappé

Founder of the Small Planet Institute and Founder/Director of Real Food Media

For her work as an author, educator, and sustainable food advocate.

Jim McGovern

Congressman, Massachusetts

For his leadership as an advocate in the fight against hunger.

Raj Patel

Author, Activist and Academic

For his scholarship and advocacy work to change the inequalities in our world’s food system.

Honorees were selected by a ballot of previous winners. Previous Leadership Award recipients are: Will Allen, Fedele Bauccio, Wendell Berry, Mark Bittman, Ben Burkett, Don Bustos, Dr. Jason Clay, Eliot Coleman, Debra Eschmeyer, Sheri Flies, Hal Hamilton, Cynthia Hayes, Saru Jayaraman, Sam Kass, Jan Kees Vis, Navina Khanna, Fred Kirschenmann, Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Marion Nestle, First Lady Michelle Obama, Michael Pollan, Janet Poppendieck, Ricardo Salvador, Gus Schumacher, Bryant Terry, Karen Washington, Alice Waters, Craig Watson, Tensie Whelan, and Malik Yakini.

The awards presentation will be part of the seventh annual James Beard Foundation Food Conference: Now Trending: The Making of a Food Movement, taking place on October 17 and 18 at Convene Conference Center, 730 Third Ave., in New York City. Founding support for this year’s JBF Food Conference was provided by GRACE Communications Foundation, with additional support from the Blended Burger ProjectTM and the Mushroom Council, Bon Appétit Management Company, Karp Resources, Bonterra Organic Vineyards, Fairlife, Good Housekeeping, and the Natural Gourmet Institute (current list as of press time). For more information, visit or follow #JBFCONF2016 on Twitter and Facebook.

Both the Leadership Awards and the JBF Food Conference are part of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs, an initiative which enhances JBF’s work to establish a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership.

Tickets to the Leadership Awards dinner are available for $1,000 to the general public or for $500 for JBF Food Conference attendees; tables of ten are available for $10,000. A portion of each ticket or table purchase is tax- deductible as allowed by law. For event information or to purchase tickets, please contact Bowen & Company at 914.231.6180 or Details can also be found at

About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog, or subscribe to the free digital newsletter Beard Bites. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Livestream.


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