If the past year has taught us anything, it's that under-resourced communities across the country — particularly communities of color — are in danger. From food insecurity to lack of access to healthcare to police brutality, our neighbors are being harmed by systems that should have been built to protect them.
Yesterday, a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts of murder. And yet racial injustice persists. This verdict cannot erase centuries of mistreatment, it has not stopped violent acts from continuing to occur, and it does not eliminate our need to keep fighting. This moment is not the end of the struggle, but, we hope, the beginning of a new era of accountability.
The Food Trust stands in solidarity with the communities we serve — the very communities most impacted by systemic racism — as we continue to work together to counteract the health disparities brought into sharp relief by COVID-19, and build a world where healthy food is a right, not a privilege.
Across Pennsylvania, farmers, distributors, educators and school food service professionals are coming together to keep our communities nourished during an extraordinary time. October is National Farm to School Month, and was recently proclaimed Pennsylvania Farm to School Month by Gov. Tom Wolf.
To celebrate, The Food Trust is highlighting the work of individuals who ensure children are connected to local agriculture.
Click here for more!
Philadelphia, PA — The Food Trust’s Board of Directors has appointed community economic and workforce development executive Mark Edwards as president and chief executive officer, effective Oct. 30, 2020.
Edwards joins The Food Trust with an extensive background in community-focused leadership, having served most recently as Director of Workforce Strategies for the State of New Jersey’s Department of Labor, where he led the reform efforts of the WorkFirst New Jersey program for TANF and SNAP recipients. Previously, Edwards served as President and CEO of Philadelphia Works Inc., where he led the organization in modernizing and integrating its operations, expanding its use of data and technology, and significantly increasing both the number of employers using its services and the total number of placements annually. Under Edwards’ leadership, Philadelphia Works also deepened its strategic linkages with other key city agencies and raised over $16.5 million for local neighborhood revitalization and economic development.
Click here for the full press release.
As we continue to process the heartbreak and chaos in Philadelphia and around the country, we want to make one thing abundantly clear: The Food Trust stands with the protesters and condemns racial violence, police brutality, and the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the hundreds who came before them. Black safety, security, opportunity, well-being and survival should be the floor, not the ceiling. Black Lives Matter. Full stop.
The Food Trust’s mission is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food. The fact that everyone does not have access is rooted in the systemic racism that has infected this country for centuries. In fact, racism has impacted access to housing, education, employment and so much more. The disproportionate impact that COVID-19 is having on communities of color is a living example.
The Food Trust acknowledges that we have not done enough to combat institutional racism, both within our organization and in the communities we serve. Things will never change until we create the change.
We pledge to:
Do better, together with the people and families we serve.
Listen, and understand our privilege.
Lean into discomfort, and learn and commit to change.
Use our position to amplify the voices of those doing crucial anti-racism work.
Teach that food justice is racial justice, and one cannot exist without the other.
Access to healthy food matters for the same reason abolishing racism matters: Equity in all its forms, including access to healthy food, is a right, not a privilege. We all deserve to thrive.
Angel Rodriguez, Chairman, Board of Directors, and Aaron Felder, Interim CEO, on behalf of The Food Trust
As we give thanks and celebrate ties of friendship and family this holiday season, we are reminded that no one should have to choose between family and food.
As you may know, the Trump administration recently proposed a "public charge" rule — now posted for public comment here — that would make it harder for immigrants and refugees in this country to become eligible to receive federal benefits. If adopted, families across the U.S. would lose access to a range of nutrition, health and housing benefits, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is the nation's first line of defense against hunger, and provides food for millions of children, seniors, those with disabilities, veterans and working people.
Since the proposal was made public, service organizations across the country have reported drops in enrollment, and believe the administration has created an environment of fear and misinformation. The Food Trust is opposed to this rule, which would harm our efforts and those of our many partners to address food insecurity, healthy food access and poverty. Immigrants and refugees in America can face a myriad of challenges, and should not be afraid to access public assistance to help them deal with setbacks they may encounter along their journey. Their reasons for arrival in this country range from the darkest despair to the highest hope for a better life. As such, this proposal stands in stark contrast to the words engraved on that most American of icons, the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. … Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.”
As we near the end of a 60-day public comment period on December 10, we encourage our partners to provide comments and testimony. The national Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) has developed sample comments and has posted additional information about the rule here; we invite you to join us and add your voice by commenting, and to share this information with your networks. During this time, let us not forget that no one should be afraid to seek help for their children when facing hunger.
The Food Trust