Local Food is Essential
Equity and Resources
This campaign was spurred out of a recognition of services, workers, and industries that were deemed “essential” by Minnesota Governor Walz during the COVID-19 State of Emergency declarations. We as organizers saw the need to elevate the local food system — the farmers, farm workers, food service providers, restaurateurs and farmers market vendors — that are also essential in this unprecedented time.
What also became apparent quickly was the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 had on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. BIPOC farmers saw their institutional accounts vanish overnight as colleges, K -12 schools and restaurants closed. BIPOC communities are more likely to be essential workers on the frontlines of this pandemic, delivering groceries, stocking shelves and preparing take-away food. Additionally, BIPOC communities have suffered a greater proportion of COVID-19 cases and deaths than the white population in the United States.
The Local Food is Essential campaign acknowledges that American agriculture was founded on principles of stolen land and stolen labor. The partners involved in this campaign will act to undo systems of racism and oppression in the food system by uplifting local food that is grown equitably, humanely and sustainably. Local foods are a critical part of food justice, food sovereignty and food security. We commit to learning, listening and acting in a way that upholds these values and supporting BIPOC leaders in our food system.
Below are resources on racial equity in the food system:
Leveling the Fields from Union of Concerned Scientists and the HEAL Food Alliance
Farming While Black by Leah Penniman