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Our Commitment to Equity

Over 40 years ago, Food Lifeline started as an organization with the mission of providing food assistance to the community by serving as a clearinghouse for donated and government-provided food. As we grew, our mission, commitment, and programs evolved to become much more. We grew beyond a focus on the logistics of sourcing, storing, packing, and distribution of food to an organization that deeply understands the importance of both ensuring people have adequate access to food, while working to address poverty as a leading driver of hunger.

In the last few years, Food Lifeline has embarked on a further iteration of our work. We know that hunger and food insecurity are complex and inextricably linked to poverty and its root causes, which include systemic racism, and social injustice. It is not enough to provide food today. To solve hunger we must partner more collaboratively with our community of stakeholders, donors, volunteers, affinity organizations, and most importantly people with lived experiences of hunger. We believe in the power and necessity of collectively and radically changing the systems, programs, and practices that cause and perpetuate and profit from food insecurity and hunger in our communities.

Our Board of Directors, alongside staff, embarked on a journey to make this commitment as clear as possible. The work is encapsulated in the Board-adopted Equity Statement. We will not waver from this guiding principal as we move forward in our effort to eradicate hunger. There are many ways to be involved, from organizing, donating time and expertise as a volunteer, and donating financial resources. We invite our many engaged community members to organize with us in the many ways that they are able to effect change.

Equity Statement

Food Lifeline’s mission is feeding people facing hunger today and working to solve hunger for tomorrow. Food justice – the belief that everyone has a human right to equitably access the nutritious and culturally relevant food that enables them to thrive – is a foundation of our mission.

At Food Lifeline we know that hunger and food insecurity are symptoms of poverty. We also know that poverty in the United States is built on a foundation of laws, policies, and practices that purposefully and systematically extend opportunity to some while withholding it from others. These injustices have most often been created by and benefited white people at the expense of people of color, who are disproportionately impacted by inequity, poverty, and hunger. For these reasons, Food Lifeline believes anti-racist work is essential to ending hunger.

We center people facing hunger in all that we do. We recognize their resilience and their dignity and will elevate their stories and lived experience to inform community-based solutions to end hunger. We are committed to working with all people who have been oppressed, due to race, ethnicity, citizenship or socioeconomic status, gender identity, age, and beyond, because the solutions that effectively address hunger and poverty in these communities solve hunger and poverty in all communities.

Food Lifeline invites our donors to invest in building an equitable community and to ensuring food justice for people experiencing hunger and poverty. Together we will boldly challenge harmful systems and institutions in order to advance social justice.

We recognize we are one organization among many that are already committed to creating this change in our communities. Food Lifeline will collaborate with others who will help us grow in our equity mission, and together we will help build a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community were hunger doesn’t have to happen.

Adopted by Food Lifeline Board of Directors 07.14.20