Grocery Store Activism: 10 Brands You Can Buy To Support Women, Minorities, and the Environment

If you’re like me, the election results have pushed you to ask, “How can I be an ally?” While there are many organizations that you can (and should) donate to, you can also make small but significant contributions by purchasing from brands who support women, minorities, and environmental sustainability.

These are some of the companies that are committed to giving back to their communities. By making smart consumer decisions, you can do the same.

1. Newman’s Own


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Founded by the actor Paul Newman, Newman’s Own gives all profits and royalties to charity, more than 475 million since 1982.

It’s grantees are small organizations like Partnership with Native Americans, The Discovery Center (a school system dedicated to shaping positive attitudes about race and cultural differences), and Edible Schoolyard. It also has developed its own foundations like CECP, a coalition of CEOs dedicated to social improvement.

2. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream


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It’s no surprise that the delicious happy-hippy Vermont ice cream company has their own foundation that supports grassroots organizations for social justice. Not only are they champions of LGBTQ rights and marriage equality, their 2015 grantees included organizations like African Communities Together (supporting African immigrants in New York), Critical Resistance (working to end the prison industrial complex), and Alliance of Appalachia (dedicated to ending harmful coal mining practices in West Virginia).  

3. Tom’s of Maine


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Tom’s of Maine created the 50 States for Good program, which gave over $1 million to 52 non-profits across the country. Recipients included Random Hacks of Kindness (helping kids code to create smartphone apps for local charities), Sarah’s Home (providing sanctuary for girls rescued from sex trafficking), and Outreach Autism Services Network.

4. Coca Cola


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Not all philanthropic companies are found in the organic aisle; The Coca Cola Foundation has given more than $820 million to improve communities worldwide. The priorities of the company are “women, water, and well-being,” and it has donated to grassroots organizations like the Center for Black Women’s Wellness and the Adelante Movement, which helps Latinas develop financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills .

5. Dave’s Killer Bread


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Dave Dahl spent 15 years in prison before founding Dave’s Killer Bread. Because of his commitment to second chances, one in three employees at Dave’s Killer Bread has a criminal background. Their firm belief that everyone is capable of greatness also helped them create the Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, which helps youth affected by the criminal justice system.

6. Burt’s Bees


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Burt’s Bees established the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, which supports human and honeybee health through organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Rural Advancement Foundation International, and Farmer Foodshare.

7. Numi Tea


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Reem and Ahmed Numi, founders of Numi Tea, recall that their family home was always full of guests, often friends or families who came to America as refugees. Their family’s generous spirit led them to create The Numi Foundation, which works to support communities with initiatives in art, education, health, and the environment.

An example of this is ACTION Oakland (A Creative Transformation in Our Neighborhoods), which fosters long-term, cross-sector partnerships to help promote justice, education, mobility, health, art and technology in Oakland.

8. Kettle Brand Chips


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Kettle Brand Chips don’t just donate to local environmental companies, they take sustainability seriously. This means that their fleet of company cars runs on vegetable oil, and 100% of their waste veggie oil from chip production goes to making biodesel fuel. They also installed one of the largest solar grids in the Pacific Northwest and purchase enough wind energy credits to offset 100% of their electricity use in the U.S. To top it off, they’ve also innovated typical chip packaging to reduce paper waste by 20%, which saves 22,000 trees annually.

9.Teddie Peanut Butter


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Teddie All-Natural Peanut Butter has been making delicious, organic peanut butter for almost a century. They also are supporters (and the official peanut butter) of Best Buddies International, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to ending the “social, physical, and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

10. Local produce and products


Whenever possible, put money back into your own community. A lot of local companies are committed to improving their homes and supporting regionally important causes. Be sure to stop by the local aisle in your grocery store, or pay a few dollars more for locally grown produce.



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