Feeding Freedom initiative spotlights intersection of racial injustice and food insecurity
Kellogg has long been involved in combatting food insecurity in North America – and across the globe – through its Better Days purpose platform, which has donated 2.4 billion servings of food worldwide since 2015.
In 2020, the impacts of the pandemic, along with widespread protests against racial inequalities, spotlighted the long-standing structural and systemic challenges faced by communities of color in the U.S.
These disparities extend to food insecurity – Black and Latino families are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer from food insecurity than their white counterparts.
Amid the events of 2020, Kellogg saw an opportunity to reframe the conversation around food insecurity and highlight the many interconnected impacts of racism in North America.
“Kellogg recognized, along with the rest of the country and world, that we had entered a point of no return in terms of social justice,” said Tiana C., VP of Global Brands, who helped spearhead the effort. “What if we created a dialogue about the intersectionality of race and food? Driving that conversation would be a real leadership moment.”
Tiana led the team that created “Feeding Freedom: Food and Justice for All,” a series of panel discussions featuring prominent Black and Latino experts on food and social justice. The video series highlighted issues like food deserts in communities of color and stigmas around social assistance programs, as well as the grassroots leaders working to solve food insecurity every day.
The conversations were disseminated to all Kellogg North America (KNA) employees and, following an enthusiastic internal reception, the edited videos were shared on YouTube. One of the aims of the series was to promote empathy and understanding, as well as to inspire action and advocacy, particularly during the difficult days of the ongoing pandemic.
“If you’ve never experienced being on food stamps or needing WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), it’s really easy to make a judgement about how someone got into that situation,” said Tiana. “We wanted to create an educational series to help people understand what it’s like to walk a day in someone else’s shoes and create an opening for people to rethink some assumptions they might carry.”
Tiana, who identifies as Black and Asian, also highlighted the importance of collaboration and allyship in bringing the innovative series to life. “You need cover from allies that support you in doing this work,” she said. “Allyship is not just a badge you can get, it’s when you show up with tangible actions.”
Kellogg remains committed to addressing food insecurity and racial inequality through its Better Days commitments.
“When we started the Feeding Freedom work, one of our mantras was, ‘this is a movement, not a moment,’” said Tiana. “I’d like to remember that this as a starting point to keep pushing forward.”