In June 2020, Feeding America made a declaration that we will “stand together with the Black community, knowing that “justice for all” is a choice.” We stand firm in our belief that ‘all’ must be inclusive of every person in America.
With that declaration, we also made commitments to ourselves, our network, to the people we serve, and to the public about the actions we will take to advance equity throughout our organization, across our approaches to improving food security, and in service to people facing hunger. In the spirit of accountability and transparency, here are the actions that we at Feeding America have taken thus far to honor our commitments:
Commitment: Increase our investment in communities of color, who we know are disproportionately affected by poverty and hunger.
- Progress: We created a Racial Equity Dashboard to identify communities most disproportionately impacted by food insecurity.
- Progress: We invested $76M in grant funding to 162 network food banks addressing food insecurity and racial disparities in their communities.
- In Progress: We are studying additional, targeted investments that engage people most impacted by food insecurity in developing sustainable solutions to emerge from it.
Commitment: Listen to and amplify underrepresented voices in advocacy for government policies that can make a positive impact on the lives of people facing hunger.
- Progress: We co-created advocacy training with network food banks and input from the people we serve in making their voices heard with lawmakers.
- Progress: We invested in voter engagement work to support the people we serve in making their voices heard at the ballot box.
Commitment: Expand our efforts to bring members of underrepresented communities together and provide a platform to co-create solutions.
- Progress: We launched community-based initiatives designed to measurably improve food security. We did this in partnership with five member food banks and with input from people with lived experience of hunger.
Commitment: Escalate our work to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout our organization.
- Progress: We created 11 Employee Resource Groups to support and foster inclusivity among staff across our teams.
- Progress: We expanded our Executive Team to include four additional members from employee resource groups and established an employee resource groups leadership council.
- Progress: We elevated the Chief Equity and Programs Officer to report directly to the CEO, in line with best practices for equity-driven organizations.
- Progress: Formed a cross-functional Equity Team that includes a diverse group of employees from all levels of our organization to guide and support our equity work
- Progress: Our Executive Team, Equity Team, Marketing, and Human Resources teams have completed intensive race equity training and all people leaders will go through similar training by the end of the fiscal year
Commitment: Understand we do not have all the answers and will partner with experts in this area to advance our growth.
- Progress: We partnered with two external consultancies focused on advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion to provide ongoing training and consulting support for staff. Both of these groups focus on bringing others in to help us better understand the people we serve and to meet their needs in culturally and community-sensitive ways.
Commitment: Diversify our staff and board to include more women, members of the black community, other people of color, and people with lived experience of hunger.
- Progress: We purposefully enhanced the diversity of our candidate pools and added new staff positions for a Manager of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, as well as sponsored the Feeding America Equity Research Visiting Scholar Program.
- Progress: We are developing a talent pipeline of research interns from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Tribal Colleges.
- Progress: We approved three new directors who bring gender and racial diversity to our Board.
- Progress: Have increased percentage of new hires who are people of color by 35% in FY19 to 44% in F20 to 65% after the first two quarters of FY21.
We also committed to holding ourselves accountable by posting the actions we’ve taken.
This is merely the beginning. There is still a great deal to be done to untangle the systemic racial disparities that continue to impact our communities of color. Feeding America will continue to advance this important work to ensure that all of our neighbors have equitable opportunities to achieve food security. You can expect more progress from us.
We stand together.
Please contact one of our media representatives or call 800-771-2303
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.