“We know that communities of color experience food insecurity at disproportionate rates. As we work to improve food access for all, we need to invest in local organizations whose work helps to remove barriers that lead to long-term or multi-generational food insecurity,” said Ami McReynolds, chief equity officer of Feeding America. “The grants announced today are a major step in our journey toward community-led change. The Food Security Equity Impact Fund has the potential to transform food security philanthropy, and this round of funding will be the first of many for Feeding America.”
The initial grant wins for the Food Security Equity Impact Fund were announced today by Feeding America®, a network of 200 food banks, 21 statewide associations, and 60,000 partner food pantries and meal programmes. Nearly $10 million has been given to 25 food banks that will work with 60 different community-based organisations to address the underlying causes of hunger and food insecurity. These solutions will help to reduce food insecurity and build a more equitable food system.
The Food Security Equity Impact Fund is a component of Feeding America’s larger grantmaking strategy, which aims to specifically benefit rural and underserved communities of colour. Individual scholarships will benefit communities in 22 states and Puerto Rico and range from $100,000 to $500,000. Additionally diversified in terms of geography, the funds are given to urban, suburban, and rural communities. In addition, people of colour lead 90% of the community-based partners.
The Food Security Equity Impact Fund was started by Feeding America in March 2021 with a $20 million gift from MacKenzie Scott. The fund was formed in order to uphold Feeding America’s commitment to advancing fairness and to direct investments to communities of colour who are disproportionately affected by food poverty. According to data, the rates of food insecurity among Black, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islanders are 2-3 times greater than those among white people, and the levels of food insecurity within Asian subgroups vary greatly, putting some populations at particular risk. The COVID-19 pandemic has made already existing inequities and structural impediments communities of colour face even more severe.
“The work proposed by food banks and their community partners for these grants is inspiring,” McReynolds continued. “Grantees will focus on local food system infrastructure, community-based agriculture practices, job training, expanding access to federal nutrition program and much more. We are excited to play a small part and see communities build and grow their work. Our hope is that we learn from these community investments and together, in partnership with people facing hunger, work to dismantle the systems that drive inequity and truly end hunger in America.”