The work of the Black Food Fund is grounded in the long history of Black agrarianism and Black peoples’ contributions to agriculture. In Oregon, and across the Pacific Northwest, systemic racism has long impacted Black folks’ ability to steward land, produce healthy, culturally relevant food for our communities, and generate generational wealth to pass on to our children.
In spite of these injustices, Black food systems leaders have and continue to develop powerful solutions that hold great potential for feeding communities, restoring ecosystems, and building wealth and community ownership. We believe that harnessing this innovation is key to building regional food economies that support racial justice and economic opportunity.
Currently our work focuses on two primary projects: our Black Food System Leader campaign and Black Farmer Fund. Through our Black Food System Leader campaign, we amplify the stories and profiles of Black farmers, land stewards, ranchers, fishers, chefs, food entrepreneurs, front-line workers, advocates, organizers, and other folks from across the Pacific Northwest, all of whom are making incredible contributions to building more equitable and resilient food systems.
Cultivating food justice requires expanding access to capital for Black farmers and land stewards. In 2021, we launched a Black Farmer Fund to do just that. In our first round of grants, we awarded $59K to Black farmers across the Pacific Northwest, supporting their efforts to promote food justice and preserve Black agricultural traditions. Through that effort, we provided grants to 21 Black farmers and land stewards in Oregon and Washington. With those funds, folks have been able to purchase new equipment to scale up their businesses; expand food justice projects that connect Black people with fresh, culturally-relevant foods and medicines; reclaim and expand ancestral climate stewardship practices; and more.