Montana No Kid Hungry is committed to confronting systemic injustices – such as racism, classism, sexism, ableism, LGBT+ discrimination, xenophobia, and ageism  – that perpetuate poverty and food insecurity within our state and country.

This statement is part of our ongoing process to embody more aspects of inclusivity and equity within our work and mission, as well as identify how we might improve in these areas. Therefore, this is an evolving statement as we also evolve.

We, as a primarily white staff, approach our work with an acknowledgement of our privilege that comes partly through a long history of exploitation, racism and inequality in this country. We also acknowledge that recent events have catalyzed our commitment to better understand the role of structural and institutional racism in our society – a commitment that is long overdue for our nation as a whole. In Montana these injustices sometimes seem distant, but we believe that all of us, especially white people, must step up to speak out against racism in all its forms, actively reject the structurally unjust realities within our society, and support efforts led by BIPOC communities – all while embracing an attitude of humility, openness, and continual learning.

We are not perfect in this commitment, but we are striving to become an actively anti-racist organization and prioritize equal outcomes between those who face various forms of discrimination and those who don’t. So far we are working towards this in different ways:

  • For the first time we are expanding our grant opportunities beyond School Breakfast Expansion and Summer Meals, to include more holistic community food projects. Our new approach to granting applies an equity lens, as we consider factors like race, economic status and ruralness when awarding funds.
  • Within our Amplify Montana initiative, we are currently working with partners to make our Speakers Bureau training curriculum culturally sensitive, hiring a Native contractor to guide this work, and aiming to bring Amplify Montana to all the state’s Tribal Nations.

We recognize that ending hunger is about more than just making sure people have regular access to healthy food. It’s also about dismantling systemic injustices by changing the dominant narrative around why people experience hunger and shining a light on root causes. Without building a shared understanding of race and privilege within the food system, our mission to truly make No Kid Hungry a reality is not possible.

As an anti-hunger movement, let’s hold each other accountable for our shared responsibility to put racial and social equity at the center of our work. Let us inspire one another to take action – individually, within our organizations, and together as a community – to change our systems for the better!

Follow these Montana organizations leading the charge against inequity and discrimination for educational resources, current events information, and ways to get involved:

The Montana Racial Equity Project
Montana Human Rights Network
ACLU of Montana