Foodlink endorses BAG’s Declaration — ‘Racism is a Public Health Crisis’

Foodlink is rooted in the belief that food is a basic human right. Our mission is to leverage the power of food to end hunger and build healthier communities. Foodlink endorses the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group’s May 19th Declaration “RACISM IS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS.”

We acknowledge our role in public health and our responsibility to “address racism including reshaping our discourse and agenda so that we all actively engage in anti-racist and racial justice work.”

Hunger is a social determinant of health – and it is inextricably and undeniably linked to racism. When people of color experience racial discrimination in housing, education, health care, employment, criminal justice, business and economic mobility, they are far more likely to live in persistent poverty and chronic food insecurity; and they are far more likely to rely on the emergency food system. But food alone will not end hunger.

It is critical that anti-hunger organizations identify themselves as anti-racist organizations, and acknowledge poverty, discrimination and structural racism as the deep roots of hunger, malnourishment, and poor health outcomes in our community, and throughout the country. Only then will we begin to shorten emergency food lines and co-create the conditions that enable all people to feed themselves and their families in dignity.

Foodlink’s 2020 Advocacy Agenda specifically acknowledges the link between racism, poverty and hunger in its guiding principles. We will continue to use this agenda as our North Star to guide our advocacy efforts this year. But we still have much work to do to live out these principles, including building more diverse and inclusive leadership at all levels. We are committed to this work.

Thank you, Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group, for your declaration and your leadership. We encourage organizations and public officials working toward equity to review the declaration and share your endorsement with the BAG.

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