“I think of myself as a human being who wants to make a difference and who wants to create a world that is different for future generations to be born into,” Shailene Woodley tells InStyle. “Food sovereignty and the food system is something that I’ve been passionate about since I was 14 years old.”
A passion for making sure every American can live a healthier life is precisely what drove Woodley up the steps of D.C.’s Capitol Hill (below) on Tuesday, where the actress and InStyle March 2016 cover star was on hand to speak up at a briefing in support of Thrive Market’s petition to the USDA to bring food stamps online. “Eating healthy is not just about eating healthy. And I think that there’s a lot of blurred lines when it comes to the actual importance of what the word ‘healthy’ means because the word ‘organic,’ the word ‘healthy,’ there’s a lot of stigmas attached to it because it’s expensive, because for the most part it’s only been offered to privileged communities,” Woodley adds.
For the Divergent series star, an education about the importance of food stamps came from her aunt, who as she told us lives in a “food desert” in Colorado where access to the nearest grocery store is a whopping 30 miles away. “She was on food stamps. What food stamps mean is that her entire, what she ate, depended on where she could spend these food stamps and what she could afford with these food stamps,” she continued, explaining that oftentimes those in underprivileged communities are at greatest risk of health-related illness because of a lack of access to fresh, non-processed foods.
As for why Woodley chooses to use her platform to promote positive change, doing so is a no-brainer, especially on Instagram, where she regularly voices her thoughts. “We should all have our opinions and are entitled to our opinions,” she says. “I’m on Instagram to offer education. And if people agree with that education or not, that’s not my place to judge.”
Visit thrivemarket.com to learn more about the petition to bring food stamps online for all.