Statement attributed to Beverley D. Wheeler, director, D.C. Hunger Solutions
WASHINGTON, June 3, 2020 — We at D.C. Hunger Solutions are heartbroken over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other Black Americans, and stand in solidarity with those who are protesting police violence in the District and across the nation. As an organization that primarily serves communities of color, we see how racism impacts D.C. on a daily basis.
D.C. has long been a segregated city, despite having a majority Black population. We are a tale of two cities, and looking at the District by ward, the wards with the highest white populations also have the highest median household incomes. In stark contrast, more than 90 percent of Wards 7 and 8 have minority populations, the vast majority being African American, and the lowest-grossing median household incomes. In high-income wards, there is an average of eight full-service grocery stores. In comparison, there are only two full-service grocery stores in Ward 7 and just one in Ward 8, meaning many residents of color rely on corner and convenience stores, which often lack nutritious foods and can be harmful to upward socioeconomic mobility.
A system that allows such structural inequality is violent, and food insecurity is a form of racial violence against the poorest and blackest parts of our city.
We will not stand idly by as the people who built D.C. are treated as second class citizens. Inherent in our role as anti-hunger advocates, we strive to address these systematic problems by advocating for policies that help eliminate food hardships in our city. D.C. Hunger Solutions will continue to advocate for critical programs that fulfill the needs of our residents of color during this crisis and well after.
We entreat Mayor Bowser, the D.C. Council, Minneapolis city officials, and all communities across the country to seriously reflect on police brutality and dismantling structural racism in the District and nationwide. We have a long way to go, but we are committed to making a difference in our nation’s capital.
D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research & Action Center, works to end hunger in the nation’s capital and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income District residents.