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Letter to the Editor: Racial Injustice and Hunger

January 13, 2022

While emergency food assistance is important and necessary; we believe it is not enough to provide a temporary fix. We cannot be content to see men and women merely “fed” when we as a society have the means to change the reasons why they are hungry. Racial injustice and poverty are intertwined.

The Drexel University Center for Hunger-Free Communities found people with experiences of discrimination in school, hiring, at work, in public settings and in interactions with law enforcement show statistically significant associations with household food insecurity. These experiences can have a big impact on opportunities for economic security. Never was this more apparent then during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We believe if the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is going to achieve our Bold Goal to provide access to enough nutritious food for everyone struggling with hunger in each of the 27 counties we serve, then we must acknowledge and help to address the underlying inequalities caused by the longstanding economic and social disadvantages of systemic racism. To do that, we must first learn more about our neighbors who have these experiences, empathize with them, respect and humanize them, and ensure we are providing the food resources they need to be productive members of our society.

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