Farm Direct Incentives Guide

Delivering More Than Food: Understanding and Operationalizing Racial Equity in Food Hubs

Racism underlies the U.S. food system. To withstand, resist, and reshape the dominant food system, communities of color have created alternative food systems rooted in self-determination, ownership, and collective power. These systems at times have included food hubs, with business structures such as cooperatives, that break down barriers to market access. This report is a look at a how U.S.-based food hubs understand engagement in racial equity work. The sample of food hubs interviewed for this report are diverse in their structures, leadership, and missions. Through interviews with food hub managers and other roles, we identify common facilitators and inhibitors to food hubs engaging in racial equity work. After presenting the major themes of our findings, we provide an analysis of those findings through multiple frames. We offer recommendations in the form of identifying deeper questions for food hubs and food hub stakeholders, including funders, academics, nonprofits, food hub customers, and local, state, and federal government officials about how to meaningfully support racial equity within the food system. We also offer specifics of how to operationalize some of our findings by providing a few examples of food hubs/food system organizations that have taken clear action toward achieving racial equity goals.
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