Addressing food insecurity and promoting just and fair inclusion in the food system
Much of the inequity we see in the broader economy can be witnessed in the food system and, by extension, in our communities. As in other parts of the country, here in the Hudson Valley great disparities exist between individuals and across neighborhoods with respect to some of the most fundamental aspects of life – among them access to food, physical well-being, and financial security. LEP’s emerging food justice work is focused on supporting and accompanying the leadership of those most impacted by these disparities, including people of color, women, and immigrants. In addition, we are engaging with partners in a collaborative effort to understand and address the social and structural issues that underlie the food system and thus represent obstacles to change.
LEP’s grantmaking provides funding for organizations working on behalf of the most vulnerable, including families who lack access to nutritious food and food chain workers. We also support programs aimed at alleviating and eradicating food insecurity in the Hudson Valley. Over the past three years, grants in this category have allowed dozens of food pantries and non-profit organizations to distribute local produce and prepared meals to people in need*. This year, our grantmaking has expanded to support programming that provides culturally relevant and supportive training in regenerative agriculture to Black and Latino growers.
We recognize that only through deep listening and thoughtful leadership can we begin to envision an equitable food system. We hope to encourage open and purposeful dialogue among those working to advance food justice in the region, including service providers, farmers, groups helping to broaden access to healthy food, and advocacy organizations. We imagine that, working together, we will begin to see evidence of a new food economy – one that is equitable and inclusive at all levels of the food industry and throughout each and every Hudson Valley community.