Food Justice IS Racial Justice

Joint Statement issued by Friedens’ Executive, Staff, and Board members:

At Frieden’s Community Pantries, we are striving to understand our role in both the unjust and unequal systems and institutions that perpetuate food insecurity and oppression for marginalized people and communities in Milwaukee, and across the globe – most recently illustrated by the heinous murder of George Floyd at the hands of officers hired to serve and protect every citizen of Minneapolis. We will work tirelessly to educate ourselves, our employees and volunteers to become more capable and more supportive allies in the fight against racism and oppression. 

We know that our current food system is a legacy of racism – built upon exploitation of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, People of Color and Immigrants, who continue to be the backbone of our food system today and ensure we can eat. They’re also a constant target of racist acts and violence. Through provision of food and support to communities in need, Friedens strives to center the voices of those most impacted as we learn how to best support individuals, households, neighborhoods, and the communities while growing as an organization. 

At Friedens, each of us has an individual responsibility to take action to make a difference. We can:

  • Speak up.
  • Educate ourselves.
  • Vote, find our local representatives, and demand action.
  • Donate to and support anti-racist organizations.
  • Shop at minority-owned businesses.
  • Facilitate improved access to food, health, and opportunity for marginalized peoples in Milwaukee.
  • Listen and participate as a true neighbor and community partner.

We can never achieve food justice without simultaneously working towards and advocating for racial justice.