The killing of George Floyd last month at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has sparked nationwide protests and important conversations about the role of systemic racism in our society.
The facts bear witness to a truth we already know – food insecurity and systemic racism are inextricably linked. Poverty rates for Blacks are more than twice that of white, non-Hispanic individuals and the problem of food access disproportionately affects minorities. Research from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has found that lower-income minority neighborhoods have less access to grocery stores compared with similar white neighborhoods.
Today, more than 1 in 5 Black families now report they often or sometimes do not have enough food — more than three times the rate for white families.
Racism and discrimination permeate every sector of society and unless we are willing to acknowledge that and work together at every level, we will never conquer hunger.
Food justice is racial justice. Our mission to end hunger must include acting against racism. The Federation of Virginia Food banks is committed to doing our part.
Consider supporting these organizations working to improve food access and empower Black communities:
Five quick actions to take right now as an ally for Black lives:
- Donate to the Community Justice Exchange – a nonprofit project of the Tides Center (which has a five-star rating on Charity Navigator). The organization hosts the National Bail Fund Network that helps pay for the release of people held on cash bail, including Black and brown people whose bail amounts are routinely set higher than others’. (Learn more about that here.)
- Get educated on how you can be a better ally. Here’s an anti-racist reading list to get you started.
- Learn more about why tackling racism is so key to ending hunger in America.
- Talk to your kids about anti-Black racism and police violence. Start with this great guide.
- This is the only beginning of the road to justice for George Floyd. Sign the #JusticeForFloyd petition and take a stand on excessive police violence.