We cannot solve hunger if we do not first end racism. Project Bread unequivocally believes that black lives matter, and we stand with those acting to dismantle the system of white supremacy in our country.
Project Bread stands as an ally in the fight to dismantle racism and white supremacy in America. We mourn the killing of black men and women, including the recent and tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and we commit ourselves to eradicating deep racial inequities entrenched in our nation and our state.
There is, and always has been, a racial crisis in America. Racism in our country is pervasive. Project Bread is dedicated to ending the injustice that hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts cannot afford enough to eat and this injustice disproportionately impacts people of color. Hunger is both a consequence and perpetuating agent of economic inequity and health disparities.
We cannot solve hunger if we do not first end racism.
Policies throughout US history have been systematically crafted to disempower people of color, taking their wealth and stripping away opportunities. Major structural issues—including racial residential segregation, lack of access to health care and food, economic discrimination, and poor air and water quality—have placed people of color at greater risk for countless public health problems.
George Floyd was killed while COVID-19 actively exacerbates these longstanding racial inequities. People of color are becoming infected and dying at disproportionately higher rates than whites. Hunger in communities of color has skyrocketed. Now, one third of Black Americans and Hispanic Americans report feeling worried about their next meal. This is roughly twice the rate of food insecurity experienced by whites, and the numbers are even higher among families with children. This is not a coincidence.
George Floyd’s death, the brutal effects of COVID-19 on communities of color, and America’s pre-existing and growing hunger crisis are all evidence of the deep inequity embedded in our national fabric. Project Bread is—and forever will be—an ally and accomplice in the fight for racial justice. We are committed to dismantling these systems of oppression.
Our organization recognizes the intersectionality of food insecurity and race. Project Bread holds itself accountable to consistently listen and learn from the communities most impacted by food insecurity. By engaging these communities in a meaningful way, we inform the development of research, programs, and policies that empower them. We will continue to proactively shine a light on inequities and their root causes to deconstruct false stereotypes and narratives in the anti-hunger community and among the general public. We commit to advocating for policies to break down existing barriers. And we are committed to operating as an inclusive work place. This includes continuing to take steps to evaluate the power structure and culture in our organization to continue to promote equity, with recognition that Project Bread has much learning and growing ahead.
We share in the grief and anger our nation is experiencing in response to established inequities and violent, racist acts. But our grief fuels action and solidarity. We will not let feelings of hopelessness dampen our drive and commitment to justice.
We unequivocally believe that black lives matter, and we stand with those acting to dismantle the system of white supremacy in our country.
Author(s): Erin McAleer, President of Project Bread