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Food Insecurity in the Black community

It’s Black History Month and we need to talk about the uphill battle to dismantle the roots of racism impacting food security among Black children and families.

Racism is baked into the foundation of American society. Food insecurity often overlaps with other social ills such as homelessness and poverty, and to understand the root causes of food insecurity and all American social ills, we must acknowledge, sit in, and wrestle with one inalienable truth: Racism is a core cause of food insecurity.

Food Insecurity is a Symptom; Racism is the Cause. 

Structural racism describes how historical and contemporary forms of racism are entrenched in our social systems, perpetuating racial discrimination and impacting food security. 

  • Redlining - housing discrimination has created wealth disparity, economic disinvestment, and marginalization of Black neighborhoods. This insidious form of racial discrimination has created concentrated areas of poverty, food deserts, and economic, educational, and health inequity (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2023). 

  • Mass Incarceration - "Black and Brown people are at far greater risk of being targeted, profiled and arrested for minor offenses, especially in high poverty areas (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2023." Further, racial profiling and racist policing practices create extreme racial disparities in incarceration, impacting individuals' and families' experience with/need for food, housing, healthcare, and financial assistance. Lastly, "policies that restrict employment for individuals who were previously incarcerated could disadvantage people of color, contributing to food insecurity" (Odoms-Young, p. 2, 2018). 

  • Healthcare - Access to quality health insurance and medical providers is essential to good health. However, "the federal government has acknowledged that inadequate health insurance coverage is one of the largest barriers to health care access, and the unequal distribution of coverage contributes to disparities in health. (Health Affairs, 2022)." Structural racism impacts the cost, financing, reporting, and access to quality insurance coverage with food security, including access to nutritional literacy resources and education for healthcare management.

Change is needed, now.

Reverse racial disparities through being a driver of justice and equity, and antiracist practices in food security and across the food system.

Coalition Equity is closing the gap.

Coalition for Food and Health Equity partners with Black growers, entrepreneurs, and youth dreamers, we position our Ujamaa Cafes within communities that have been historically disinvested and impacted by racial discrimination to transform access and the local economy, and our hunger project program closes the gap in access through mobilizing healthy food delivery to low income children and families.

Supporting our programs directly helps to disrupt decades of racial discrimination and its impact within Black communities. Help us continue to close the gap in racial health disparities and wealth, creating resilient Black communities.


Join our movement.

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