Rural Child Hunger Summit 2021: 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.




  1. Margaret Marietta Ramírez, “The Elusive Inclusive: Black Food Geographies and Racialized Food Spaces
  2. Alison Hope Alkon and Christie Grace McCullen, “Whiteness and Farmers Markets: Performances, Perpetuations … Contestations?”
  3. Kelly Moore and Marilyn Swisher, “The Food Movement: Growing White Privilege, Diversity, or Empowerment?”​
  4. Rachel Slocum, “Anti-Racist Practice and the Work of Community Food Organizations,”
  5. Margaret Marietta Ramírez, “The Elusive Inclusive: Black Food Geographies and Racialized Food Spaces.”​
  6. Showing Up for Racial Justice, “White Supremacy Culture,
  7. Tema Okun, “White Supremacy Culture.” 
  8. Janae Ridge, “Food Apartheid | Why We Should Change the Way We Talk About Food Deserts
  9. Isabel Lu, “Food Apartheid: What Does Food Access Mean In America?”; and “Food Desert vs. Food Apartheid.”​
  10. Alison Conrad, "Identifying and Countering White Supremacy Culture in Food Systems"
  11. Cheryl Dorsey, Peter Kim, Cora Daniels, Lyell Sakaue, and Britt Savage, “Overcoming the Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding.”​
  12. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, “How Hunger Persists in a Rich Country Like America
  13. Rachel Louise Moran, “Why American Policy is Leaving Millions Hungry
  14. Jessica Powers, “Special Report: America’s Food Banks Say Charity Won’t End Hunger.”​
  15. Barriers to Social Service Program Participation in North Carolina (Carolyn Barnes, Ph.D., Duke Sanford Center for Child & Family Policy)


Briana Webster CampbellBriana Webster Campbell, Director, Education and Training, Share Our Strength

Briana oversees the No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices’ initiatives related to training and technical assistance. She manages a team of child nutrition experts who support schools and organizations to expand access to federal nutrition programs. In addition, she co-chairs the organization’s Program Team Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Briana’s nearly two-decade career has been spent working at mission-driven organizations that strive to make our nation a more equitable and just place for all. Prior to joining No Kid Hungry in 2016, Briana worked on school health initiatives at HealthCorps and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Before that, she spearheaded a diabetes and obesity prevention program for African American men at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA and she also served as the first Wellstone Fellow for Social Justice at Families USA. Briana received her B.S. in Public Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jen ZuckermanJen Zuckerman, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Duke University’s World Food Policy Center

As Director of Strategic Initiatives at Duke University’s World Food Policy Center, Jen Zuckerman focuses on people-first policy development for equitable food policy.

In addition to her position with the World Food Policy Center, Jen contracts with the Biwa-Emergent Equity, facilitating white caucuses in nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. She also contracts with DEI Works Collective, in the capacity of a racial equity facilitator. Jen concentrates specifically on the role of white women and their complicity in upholding white supremacy culture.

Prior to her current work, Jen spent twelve years at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, serving as the Senior Program Officer for Healthy Living and the Director of Strategic Partnerships, focusing on increasing access to safe active environments and on providing sources for healthy, locally sourced food.

Jen currently serves as the Chair of the Board of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders Network, Chair of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems Advisory Board, Secretary of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Board of Directors and on the Board of Communities in Partnership.

Dr. Carolyn BarnesDr. Carolyn Barnes, Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Carolyn Barnes, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Her research agenda broadly explores the social and political implications of social policy on low-income populations in the areas of childcare policy, family services and supports for young children. Her book, State of Empowerment, is an in-depth organizational ethnography that examines how publicly funded afterschool programs shape the political behavior of low-income parents. Barnes has initiated a new line of interdisciplinary research that examines how social policy implementation reproduces racial inequality in rural Southern communities. She completed a Ph.D. in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Michigan, where she worked as an affiliate of the National Poverty Center conducting research on the effects of nonprofit community-based service provision on parenting practices and the psycho-social well-being of families and children.