Today, Nourish California submitted comments in response to a Request for Information from the United States Department of Agriculture on advancing racial justice and equity. Over the summer, the Department solicited public input via written comment and virtual listening sessions in order to inform their efforts to increase participation in programs, services, committees, and decision-making processes.
The Department's request for information acknowledges what we know to be true. Hunger, poverty, and health inequities do not exist by chance. They are outcomes of our laws, systems, and structures, both present and future. We commend the Department for taking this first step to identify problems and to help inform potential solutions within their control.
Our comments elevated the insights and experiences of Californians experiencing poverty and food insecurity. Experiences rife with challenges in accessing federal nutrition programs. Racial discrimination, bias, poor treatment, language barriers, and inadequate benefit levels are a shared experience for far too many Californians. We described the scale of inequity being experienced across our state and lifted up solutions within the Department’s control.
For the millions of Californians who rely on federal nutrition programs to make ends meet, change can’t get here fast enough. We look forward to working with the Department to advance more inclusive policies that can meaningfully reduce hunger, hardship, and inequity.