|Dear friends, |
At Hope’s Harvest RI we believe that connecting local food to hungry people, while ensuring sustainable livelihoods and dignity for everyone involved in the process, is an act of love and justice with the power to transform our world.
Here at Hope’s Harvest RI, we like to talk about what we believe in. We envision a world where no one goes hungry, and everyone takes care of one another, joyfully, and with the recognition that when one of us suffers, we all suffer. We believe it is our collective responsibility as a society to make sure every child has a full belly and enough healthy food to lead a good life. In bringing together farmers, volunteers, and hunger relief agencies, we strive every day to make this vision a reality.
But what we don’t talk about enough is that Hope’s Harvest RI exists because the world we live in is unjust. Why are children hungry? Why do our economic and political systems allow people to go without healthy food rather than allocate our resources to provide for everyone? Why is there plenty for some, but never enough for others?
The answers to these questions are rooted in systemic racism.
Inequality in the United States in all areas – including access to housing, education, jobs, and yes, food – is inextricably intertwined with our collective history of slavery and the complex system of white supremacy that maintained it. That system continues to exist, continues to perpetuate itself, and continues to harm black people in a myriad of ways.
Within the context of food, racial disparities in health outcomes because of diet-related diseases are widespread, undisputed, and deadly. Issues of food access and food insecurity consistently impact people of color more than any other demographic. These disparities are unacceptable, and we will not stand for it.
Anyone who has been out with us in the fields knows we like to work hard. Well it is clear we have a lot of hard work to do as an organization; to show up, support the Black Lives Matter movement, and actively dismantle racism in our community. We have not spoken out enough about these issues, believing it to be implicit in our work. But we realize our silence is insufficient and unacceptable. We pledge to do better and to hold ourselves accountable to the communities we serve. We will educate ourselves and our stakeholders on these issues consistently and as part of all our activities. We will lift up voices and groups in our state that are showing us the path forward towards a world where justice and freedom are available to all, and we will not be silent in the face of suffering. We will be a courageous organization that works joyfully together with our neighbors, partners, and friends for love and justice. We hope you will join us, as you have so many times before, so we can walk this road together.
We strongly urge people to continue educating themselves on anti-racism and food justice. Take a look at the resources linked below and consider supporting the local organizations listed – for until we are all free, we are none of us free.
Eva, Melanie, Molly, and Sammy – The Hope’s Harvest RI Team
Rhode Island Organizations to Support
Southside Community Land Trust
Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance
Direct Action for Rights and Equality
Movement Ground Farm – donations to Solidarity CSA Shares needed
Learn More About Food Justice
Civil Eats – Food & Land Justice for Black Americans
What Ferguson Means for the Food Justice Movement
Food Solutions New England Racial Equity Challenge Resources