10/01/2014 02:38 EDT | Updated 11/30/2014 05:59 EST

Coalition of food advocates tries to make food policy a political kitchen-table issue

WASHINGTON - A group called Food Policy Action wants Americans to think more about the subject when they vote. They're putting money and organization into elections for the first time, starting with an effort to defeat Republican congressman Steve Southerland of Florida over his drive to increase work requirements for food stamp recipients.

The campaign against Southerland is a test of how to make food policy stick ahead of the 2016 presidential and congressional races. The managing director of Food Policy Action says it will spend up to $100,000 to boost voter turnout against Southerland.

Mothers and young people tend to care the most about issues like hunger, antibiotics in meat and labeling of genetically modified ingredients — and they tend to be politically aware and vote.