Should 16 million kids really go to sleep hungry? Of course not, but unfortunately, this is the reality for too many young people and their families. Because the way our food system is set up, it fails too many of us, despite how hard we work.
Building the Case for Racial Equity in the Food System
In our latest report, we trace the stories of Brenna and Johnny who represent two of the 16 million. Even with two working parents, each of their families struggle to make ends meet.
Through their stories, we share how foundational policies, e.g. New Deal, housing, and transportation, have led to Brenna’s inability to access and afford healthy food. We share how agricultural policies set up an unfair market for small and medium-size family farms like that owned by Johnny’s parents who produce the healthy foods that many, in both urban and rural communities, desperately need. Because of these policies, very few Americans really benefit from our food system; leaving the majority hungry, sick, and underpaid.
As we learn more about these policies and practices, we discover, that race, whether intentional or not, has been a strong determining factor. People of color are more likely to lack access to healthy food, have a good paying job, and are more likely to live in toxic communities. Knowing this, we must better understand the challenges faced by communities of color to co-design the solutions that will work for everyone.
Despite the challenge, we have a blueprint for a system that can work for everyone. Bold ideas and new creative solutions led by communities of color, from across the country, paired with transformational policy solutions can ensure that no child goes to bed hungry or no parent has to choose between feeding their family and paying rent.
Shining a Light in Dark Places: A Policy Brief
In our second report, CSI Food Equity Fellow Shorlette Ammons describes the realities of current and past food systems from the perspectives of Southern women of color. Shorlette draws from her personal story, U.S. history, and the legacy of women of color food workers and activists, to show we can create racial equity in the food system.
Interviewees include former Congresswoman Eva Clayton, who brings a needed perspective based on her global anti-hunger work and passion for rural communities; Tavia Benjamin and Hermelinda Cortes, who both offer millennial insight on the intersectionality of issues that lead to economic and health disparity; finally, Daa’iyah Salaam and Greta Gladney offer a grassroots perspective that provides a direct link between what is happening on the ground and the policies that are needed to impact change.