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Spotlight on Equity
meal prep

Learn about equity practices and policies from school districts across our nation who are making efforts to eliminate disparities. By highlighting these districts and communities, we hope to provide a roadmap for those who are just getting started and for those who wish to do more.

Rockbridge County Public Schools, VA

In Rockbridge County, school and community members embrace a culture of looking out for each other. Rockbridge County Public School (RCPS) educators and administrators know that students experience their greatest successes when families, the larger community, and the school division work together. To that end, RCPS school leaders are partnering with families and outside organizations to ensure that students have access to school meals regardless of any potential barriers such as language, work schedule, or homes that are in rural, hard-to-reach locations.

Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop (GFW) Public Schools, MN 

Learn from Superintendent Jeff Horton about how their district efforts to lead with equity are improving their ability to reach students and families as individuals.

The Equity tool created by his former district team guides his work at GFW schools. One strategy from that tool is to start by creating a goal for GFW to develop and implement an equity framework and make sure it is included in their district strategic plan for the upcoming school year. Using this approach, they gathered data which revealed academic disparities among communities of color compared to white students in their district. Additionally, this process led to gathering input from the local community and hearing directly from Hispanic/Latinx families

Fairbault Public Schools, MN

Faribault Public Schools in Minnesota is located South of the Twin Cities. They pride themselves on providing “high quality and equitable education that nurtures, inspires, challenges and empowers students to engage and grow as learners and citizens.” (Mission Statement, Faribault, 2020). They have worked closely as a team to ensure that historically excluded students are included.  It was no surprise to learn that they have an equity strategy embedded into their Faribault Public Schools Strategic Plan 2020.  The strategic plan, created by staff and community stakeholders, is a guiding document with strategies to serve the community’s needs successfully.

LiveWell Greenville, SC

LiveWell Greenville is an impact coalition that works with a network of organizations, such as food agencies, faith communities, early childhood centers, and schools, to ensure access to healthy eating and active living for every Greenville County resident. LiveWell has recognized that community-driven initiatives are needed to support students experiencing food insecurity and to “impact policies, systems, and environmental changes.” In this spotlight on equity, LiveWell Greenville’s Susan Frantz, Partnership Coordinator, shares how they are working to “foster creative solutions to ensure equitable access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food, as well as to advocate for a community-driven food system that improves quality of life.”

Resources

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Equity Resources
eating breakfast

These resources can help structure feeding programs so that equity is the focus and all communities are included. Creating inclusive meals programs can positively impact key drivers of hunger that are systems of inequity by race, class, gender, ability, etc.

Resources

Advancing Equity: Designing A Meals Program That Reaches Every Child

We know that hunger disproportionately affects Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, yet we also know that our programs are not always designed in partnership with these communities, often leaving their needs unmet. This resource features questions that can be used as a set of prompts to take step back and evaluate whether your meal program is designed to reach every child in your community. The questions are meant to be a starting place for ongoing conversations that we should all be having about how we can disrupt systemic racism as an anti-hunger community and design better meals programs that reach every child.

Conversation Starters for Designing More Inclusive School Meals Programs

Students and their families are the most important stakeholders in school nutrition programs. These conversation starters can be used to guide conversations with school nutrition staff to:

  1. identify barriers that students and their families may face in accessing school meals, and
  2. generate ideas for engaging students and families as partners in designing more equitable meals programs.

 

Webinars/ Workshops

Designing a More Inclusive School Meals Program

This interactive workshop featured school nutrition staff and community partners who work together to create inclusive school meals programs, specifically assessing and removing barriers students may face in accessing meals programs. The speakers provided insight into actionable items that school nutrition departments may implement in their own communities.

Inequity in Food Systems: The Impacts of Whiteness and COVID-19 on Food Insecurity

In order to understand food insecurity, we must understand the impact of the social policies and practices that both create and combat the inequities we seek to address. This session will unpack the historic inequity on which the food system in the United States was built and provide an overview of how whiteness continues to dominate food systems policy and practice today. Those issues have become even more clear over the last year, as COVID-19 exacerbated the historic and systemic inequity inherent in our food system. As such, we will explore two federal programs, WIC and SNAP, the impact of COVID-19 on navigating those programs and provide recommendations for policy, practice, and organizational changes that have the potential to impact rural child hunger.

Racial Equity and Community Resilience in Food Systems, Policy, and Program Delivery

How can communities best organize to build just and sustainable food systems? What structural and historic racial inequities are at play that perpetuate hunger and poverty, and how can federal programs intended to serve those in need be more racially equitable in their design and implementation? Hear from two leading thinkers as they engage in conversation around the connection between racial equity and justice in our food system, social safety net, and society at large.

 

Resources