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.
Just over a year ago, the streets of Charlottesville were filled with the anti-Semitic, anti-Black and anti-immigrant chants of hate by white supremacists. That disturbing weekend ended violently, with one protester killed and dozens more injured.
Charlottesville could have been a line in the sand against hate. Instead, violence toward marginalized individuals and communities -- fueled by historical and structural racism and anti-Semitism, and our country’s increasing comfort with nationalism -- continues to escalate: In the last week alone, a gunman shot and killed two Black senior citizens in a grocery store after being refused entry to a Black church where all evidence indicates he intended to open fire on congregants. Over a dozen pipe bombs were sent to politicians and members of the media by an individual with a nationalist and extremist agenda. And another gunman entered a synagogue, killing 11 congregants as they worshiped.
The Food Trust was founded with the mission to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. The word “everyone” is important: As a public health organization committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice, we reject the notions of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, hatred and bigotry. We denounce those who would intimidate, oppress, injure or kill some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
In this spirit, we will take the role of ally, follower or leader, as the situation dictates, to achieve our common goals and dismantle systems of oppression wherever we encounter them. We are prepared to make sacrifices for our commitment to these causes. We look forward to working with those of you who share these ideals and values.
Our thoughts are with those grieving these terrible losses, and our actions are focused on utilizing every resource within our power to work toward a more fair and just society for all.
The Food Trust
The Food Trust was founded 25 years ago with the mission “to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions.” The word “everyone” is important because we as an organization are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and justice.
The Food Trust is a public health organization and a social justice organization. In light of these most recent events in Charlottesville, VA, we feel it is important and necessary to explicitly and uncategorically reject the notions of white supremacy, anti-Semitism and hatred and bigotry, as well as denounce those who would intimidate, oppress and injure some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
The Food Trust believes that the events in Charlottesville are the most recent examples of horrific individual racism but understand that historical and structural racism have resulted in other forms of violence towards marginalized communities since the inception of this country, and continue today. As one example, as a result of racism, racial minorities bear a disproportionate burden of trauma, morbidity and mortality.
The Food Trust works with partners from all across the country to increase access to healthy food and reduce health disparities. While working to achieve our mission, we also have a responsibility to contribute towards a more fair and just society for all. In this spirit, we will speak out against oppression; we will serve as an ally to those who face oppression and to those who are committed to justice and equity; as the situation dictates, we will take the appropriate role of ally, follower or leader to achieve our common goals and dismantle systems of oppression wherever we encounter them; and we are prepared to make sacrifices for our commitment to these causes.
The Food Trust will utilize every resource within its power to work towards a more just society, and we look forward to working with those of you who share these ideals and values.
The Food Trust
Young Leaders for a Healthier Generation
GSK and The Philadelphia Foundation announced the award of a three-year, $5 million charitable grant to Get HYPE Philly!, a collective of 10 nonprofits headed by The Food Trust. Working together, the nonprofits will focus on enabling Philadelphia teens to eat healthy, exercise and build healthier communities. The grant is from a fund established by GSK in 2011 to benefit young people in the City of Philadelphia, and is administered by The Philadelphia Foundation.
For more information visit: gethypephilly.org
First Lady Michelle Obama, July 20, 2011: “It’s about organizations like The Food Trust who have been studying this issue [access to healthy, affordable food], and creating models for how to solve it.”