The Toronto Youth Food Policy Council (TYFPC) has dedicated our mission to engaging and uplifting the voices of youth towards building a just food system. We recognize that it is impossible to address issues of food justice without recognizing how power, privilege, and systemic forms of oppression disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities. To address hunger, it is essential to address anti-Black racism. We cannot have food justice without racial justice. And beyond the pursuit of food justice, we condemn anti-Black racism as a violation of human rights.
How are we reflecting on anti-Blackness as a Council and our allyship?
We are acknowledging our own privilege and power, as a Council privy to social connections such as the broader Toronto Food Policy Council and support from government institutions. We will strive to use this privilege by working diligently on connecting with communities and leveraging our platform to voice the opinions of Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities.
We are critically reflecting on our own anti-Black actions, thoughts, and/or behaviours. While the Council is composed of mixed identities, we understand that in order to dismantle white supremacy, our non-Black (including non-Black POC) allyship will require action and sustained commitment within ourselves. As an organization advocating for food justice, we believe it is crucial to outline our short and long-term action plan to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism:
- This past year, the TYFPC created an anti-oppression committee, which has committed to work on the following:
- Developing resource guides to be shared.
- Dealing with anti-Blackness internally and exercising accountability amongst council members.
- Addressing anti-Blackness externally at events or at public deputations.
- Continuing to improve and learn how to better partner with racialized communities.
The committee is reshaping and reorganizing. New action items will be disclosed in the following months.
2. Events will be structured and facilitated to allow conversations that call out and call in anti-Black and anti-Indigenous behaviours, with actions to be made in response.
3. Ensuring that we provide proper compensation and credit for any labour from racialized communities within our means as a volunteer-based organization. This includes continuing to support Black, Indigenous, and newcomer-owned businesses. For example, hiring catering for TYFPC events can be a start to integrating Black-owned businesses in a sustainable partnership.
4. Maintaining and building relationships with Black, Indigenous, and newcomer-owned businesses, community farms, and organizations through collaboration on projects.
5. Continuing to organize and share educational resources with our broader network to highlight the voices of racialized communities and their experiences in the food system. This includes panels, workshops, journals, and additional mediums. Please see a recording of one of our recent panels discussing Poverty and Racism in the Food System.
Anti-Black Racism and Food Insecurity
Anti-Black racism disproportionately affects rates of food insecurity for Black households. Black communities are nearly 3.5 times more likely to experience food insecurity in comparison to white Canadian householders. High rates of food insecurity have reverberating effects on long-term physical, mental, and educational outcomes.
These statistics are far from novel (see more on the history of racism). Anti-Black racism continues to keep Black communities in low-income neighbourhoods, with precarious employment or limited upward mobility in the workplace. Current approaches to food insecurity are not enough and fail to address the systems that exacerbate vulnerabilities for racialized households.
We stand in solidarity with the demands put forth by Black Lives Matter -Toronto, with the greater Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, with reallocating police funding for social programming, and the pursuit of justice for a thorough and transparent investigation of Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s death.
TYFPC has linked the following resources regarding the BLM movement and Black-owned farms. We will be donating to Afri-Can FoodBasket, a community-based non-profit organization championing Food Justice and Food Sovereignty for Toronto’s African, Caribbean, Black community. We recognize our privilege of being able to provide monetary donations during this time. However, we encourage you to support in whatever ways you can.
No justice, no peace.
The Toronto Youth Food Policy Council
Supporting Black Organizations and fundraisers:
Information for Allies and Accomplices:
Section to Support Black-owned farms:
50 Black Herbalists to follow support,and buy from: VIA @69herbs
Black-owned farms and gardens in the United States:
Other food organizations to support:
FoodShare: Attendees of NotAnotherBlackLife protest, food boxes: donate here and indicate “NotAnotherBlackLife”
If you attended the protest, please self-isolate for two weeks and get tested if you can. Receive a good food box here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=hoaz_PQE30GUl4rMF9HMuv7tfXrw8CdLvlzx8Rf6OPZUMTRHUU5KU0xKQUw3QTZVSDhTTUhYS1RENC4u