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Assessing WA Food Through an Equity Lens

Assessing WA Food Systems Through an Equity Lens

Bridging the Gap Through a Culturally Relevant Approach

Conducted by an Informal BIPOC Leadership Team that was assembled in August 2021 in collaboration with the WSU Food Systems Program

Assessing WA Food Systems Through an Equity Lens Final Report 2021

Purpose of Report

The Washington State Department of Agriculture funded the Washington State University Food Systems Program to conduct an assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks affecting Washington’s food system, with a special emphasis on identifying the needs and barriers of underserved, food-insecure Black and Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and other socially disadvantaged communities.

The purposes of this report are to:

• Identify ways to respond to sustained high rates of food insecurity exacerbated by COVID-19

• Identify food supply chain disruptions

• Identify disproportionate negative impacts on BIPOC Communities related to the COVID-19 pandemic

• Provide recommendations for next steps towards ensuring systemic equity in Washington State food security

Methods Used

To understand the WA Food System before and during COVID-19, a number of methods were used to assess the needs, trends, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats present. Specific attention was given to the impacts on underserved communities, food insecure BIPOC, and other socially disadvantaged communities. The assessment included existing data as well as new information gathered as part of a rapidly assembled BIPOC Leadership Team’s relational approach to data collection and analysis.

Haki farmers break ground on our their urban farm location in Thurston County

Watch the presentation

On Sept. 28, 2021, an informal leadership team of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, in collaboration with Washington State University, and researchers with the University of Washington presented findings on their respective needs assessments of Washington’s food systems. This presentation was made to WSDA for work the agency had requested.

Collaborators are:

  • Mercy Kariuki-McGee, WSU Food Systems Project Lead/ Co-Founder Haki Farmers Collective
  • Elisa McGee, Design Consulting/Co-Founder Haki Farmers Collective
  • Shaun Glaze, Data Lead/Chief Consulting Officer of Inclusive Data
  • Adasha Turner, Ummah Sustained AgroEcology Center at Modest Family Solutions/WSU 4-H 1st Jr Master Gardener Program
  • Albert Sardinas, Food for Good/Purpose Drive Girl
  • Paula Sardinas, Food for Good/Build Back Black
  • Ashley Mocorro Powell, Chair of Environmental Justice Leaders
  • Cameron Jones, Woodbridge Farm/Chimacum Center
  • Denise Chin, Ecotrust
  • Devoni Whitehead, Evans School of Public Policy
  • Eddie Hill, Black Food Sovereignty Coalition
  • Gary Newte, Northwest Harvest
  • Horacio Perez, Black & Indigenous Organizing
  • Louis Guiden, Good Shepherd Youth Outreach
  • Peter Mustin, Woodbridge Farm
  • Rita Ordóñez, Birdsign Consulting
  • Robert Rodrigo, COO of We Do Better Relief/Co-founder of Walk 4 Change/LogisticsManager for Peacekeeper Society
  • Laura Lewis, Director WSU Food Systems
  • Aba Kiser, Project Manager WSU Food Systems