Today, we’re opening a new series on food insecurity related issues. Specifically, we intend to use this series to discuss the issues around food insecurities. We will use the first 3–4 submissions to introduce our approach to reducing the impact that food insecurity has on marginalized communities.
Welcome to Food Insecurity Impact: #1
According to NPR.org, prior to the pandemic, the number of households with children experiencing food insecurity was on the decline at over five million children. By late June 2020, when combined with the economic and health crisis, that number had risen to over 14 million children being affected by food insecurity. It’s no secret that Black and Latina women are disproportionately impacted by the widened gap of inequity due to the direct correlation between food insecurity, limited access to quality healthcare, single female head-of-household and low-paying jobs.
Yes, we do have the expectation that the recently approved $1.9T stimulus package will go a long way toward helping those in need get back to their baseline standard of living. The reality is that, for many Americans who were already struggling with poverty before the pandemic, this upcoming round of stimulus will serve to backfill unfulfilled debt from 2020.
Make no mistake, the condition of food insecurity in America is a reflection of the systemic and institutional discrimination that imposes significant restrictions on eligibility for public assistance programs (such as SNAP); while also attempting to dismantle the critical components of the same programs.
The National Women’s Law Center reports that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) “is integral to the economic security and well-being of women, children, and families — especially those facing multiple forms of discrimination.”
In fact, the NWLC goes the extra mile to recommend broad sweeping actions to overcome the oppressive policies that prevent the SNAP program from bridging the food insecurity gaps for the disenfranchised.
Frankly, the goal of manipulating policies to affect change in the Black and Brown community should be the clear choice as a logical next step. However, history has proven that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are reluctant to do the necessary work to bring about real changes. In fact, despite valiant efforts by a select few congressional leaders, institutional racism birthed by the Reconstruction era continues to dominate the political landscape in America. This picture is a direct reflection concerning the scale and scope of the obstacles we face.
At ETC, we believe in a “yes, and” approach to solutions designed to alleviate the conditions in marginalized communities. In addition to building strategic plans that hope to facilitate long term to permanent changes; we need solutions that represent the foundation from which to achieve the objectives defined in the strategic plans.
We also believe that any solution, particularly those aimed at correcting the ills of systemic discrimination, must end with empowering members of the community. That empowerment looks like low-cost, holistic and self-sustaining systems.
The two factors driving our approach include the awareness that the community needs to be involved in developing the solutions; and that supporting organizations improve their chances for success by collaborating with partners at the national and global level in order to bring the right resources into the local communities.
In our next submission, we will share why we believe that our approach contributes to the larger efforts. Follow us here and on other social media platforms to learn more about how you can help make a difference.
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