by Susannah Morgan, CEO

The beginning of summer is usually a time of celebration in our communities — from LGBTQ Pride parades to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, to our Juneteenth commemorations of the end of the slavery after the Civil War. Instead, we find ourselves at an historic inflection point — a time when our attention is rightfully focused on the systemic inequities and oppression that LGBTQ and Black Americans have experienced for centuries.

Though these experiences may be new news to some, we’ve long seen the effects of systemic racism and heterosexism play out every day in our work at Oregon Food Bank:

  • When it comes to food insecurity, Black, Latinx and Native American households experience hunger at double the rate of white households in Oregon
  • One in four LGBTQ adults reported not having enough money to feed themselves or their families at some point in the past year
  • These challenges are compounded by intersectionality — trans communities of color experience incredibly disproportionate rates of hunger and anti-trans violence

The systemic oppression and disparities that are on full display in our communities should be a call-to-action for all of us in this moment. And though the pandemic is keeping many of us physically apart, there is still much we can all do to end hunger and its root causes — from racism to heterosexism to other structural challenges.

If you’re able to march for Black Lives, for Black Queer Lives, please do so. For those who aren’t able, we’ve collected a host of online resources and community-led organizations that are advancing change.

It’s up to each of us to know this history, to acknowledge the barriers that remain today, and to understand the steps we can take together to create stronger, more resilient communities.

At Oregon Food Bank, we are proud to be in community with millions of people who continue to take to the streets to demand justice and liberation. And we will continue to invest in the long-term, systemic changes that will end hunger and its root causes.

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