by Kristin Salaky
We've said it once and we'll say it again: Food has an uncanny ability to bring people together. Restaurants, farms, food-focused non-profits, food suppliers, and culinary education institutions can be important sources of community—and also empowerment and influence. The food world, like most other industries, has a long way to go in terms of providing equal opportunity and resources for people of color, especially Black people, and the below organizations are doing all they can to move the needle.
With help, we'll get to an equitable place faster. If you can, consider lending support—your money, your time, or your platform—to the following causes and charities.
Soul Fire Farm
This organization is a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-centered community farm in Upstate New York committed to equity in access to land, sustenance, and power in the food system.
The Okra Project
This collective provides free meals to Black trans people experiencing food insecurity. They pay Black trans chefs to go into the homes of Black trans people to make them a healthy and home-cooked meal.
This organization, founded as the Black Culinarian Alliance, works to advocate for Black people in the food and beverage industry, a demographic that has been largely left out of mid and upper management opportunities in the culinary sphere. Today, they work to "promote not only people of color but to increase diversity overall and develop women as industry leaders."
Soul Food Sessions
This organization aims to promote and support people of color in the culinary, food, and beverage industries. They often host dining experiences to highlight Black chefs and cooking in the African Diaspora that also encourage important conversations among attendees.
National Black Farmers Association
The NBFA is a non-profit focused on land retention, access to public and private loans, and rural economic development for African-American farmers in the U.S, serving tens of thousands of members across the country. It aims to bring awareness to and end the gap in resources given to Black farmers.
National Black Food and Justice Alliance
This alliance is a collection of organizations aimed at reversing Black land loss, preventing food insecurity in Black communities, and promoting the work of Black farmers, which is often underreported and underrepresented.
Black Church Food Security Network
This organization connects Black farmers to build gardens and agricultural projects on Black Church-owned land as a way to bring fresh food into the community and help combat food insecurity.
Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
This network aims to address food insecurity in Detroit's Black community by giving those in the community active leadership roles in advancing food justice through urban farming projects and policy development.
Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network
SAAFON is a regional network for small and heritage Black farmers committed to using ecologically sustainable practices in the Southeastern United States.
Boston Black Hospitality Coalition
This organization aims to protect black-owned hospitality businesses in the city where there are only eight black-owned liquor licenses.
Black Farmer Fund
This fund invests in the success of Black farmers and other Black food entrepreneurs in New York state.
Equity At The Table
EATT serves primarily as a database for people of color in the food industry that identify as female or are gender non-conforming individuals. The organization promotes the idea that it's better to "build a longer table, not a higher fence," and aims to combat the racial discrimination that plagues the food industry.