Since its founding in 2016, the Goshen Market Foundation has striven to widen access to healthy, local food and educate the public about nutrition and agriculture. Although our motives were pure, we feel that, like many well-meaning organizations, we’ve failed to address the factors at play which prevent access to fresh, healthy, local food (among other privileges) from being truly equitable and available to all people. Racism is not relegated to acts of violence or hostility against people of color but instead is a widespread, societal system that privileges white people at the expense of people of color, and we realize that we, in our inaction and in our practices as an organization, are complicit.
We acknowledge that poverty or inaccessibility is not limited to a particular race; however, privilege, especially as it relates to food access, is. White people in this country, overwhelmingly, have easier access to food and fewer barriers to entry to buy, own, or cultivate land. They are more likely to know—or be related to—a farmer or food producer. They have access to better nutrition education and are less likely to live (generationally) in a food desert. They are more likely to live in a community with a farmer’s market.
Although we have made efforts to be a part of the solution—by mobilizing the Beet Box to reach low-access communities, by implementing double-matching programs for SNAP recipients, by installing and facilitating schoolyard gardens to give kids of all backgrounds exposure to growing and eating their own produce—we can and will do more.
Over the course of the next year, the Goshen Market Foundation will:
- Ensure that our board of directors is racially reflective of the community we serve, which means that at least one-third of our board will be comprised of people of color;
Recruit and empower black vendors to participate in the Goshen Market and sell produce to the Beet Box using our New Farmer Grants as a catalyst;
- Require all staff, board members, and affiliated persons to engage in anti-racism training (including, but not limited to, reading books and articles outlining the history of white privilege in both society and the narrower field of food access);
- Make a commitment to purchase necessary goods from black-owned businesses when possible;
- Reformat our website to feature images that reflect the diversity of our community
- Commit to installing schoolyard gardens in Black communities;
- Increase the number and frequency of stops of our mobile market to better serve people of color.
We believe, unequivocally, that all lives will not matter until Black lives do. Thank you for joining us in our fight to become a more just, equitable, and community-loving organization.