June 5, 2020
Our hearts are heavy this week, as our Philadelphia community joins with countless others across the country and around the world mourning the incomprehensible death of George Floyd. We stand in solidarity with those seeking justice for his death, and the deaths of countless others. We stand in solidarity with our Black staff, volunteers, and clients. Black lives matter.
We see the results of systematic oppression of the Black community in our work each and every day. Health disparities in communities of color continue to grow – as proven by the high COVID-19 infection and mortality rates in Black communities here in Philadelphia and across the country. Communities of color make up the majority of our clients. Our mission is to provide food as medicine. We believe everyone should have quality healthcare, despite racial inequities accessing proper nutrition. Addressing this important matter, among others will require taking a hard look at issues such as racism that cause these inequities in the first place.
From our location in Center City, we have seen thousands of people marching through the streets for justice. Though we are in our facility preparing meals and out on the roads delivering, please know that we are standing with you, shoulder to shoulder. We have great admiration for the organizations doing this work, and we know that we too have an important role to play in combating systemic racism.
Words can only go so far. MANNA is pledging to do more, and I hope you will join us. This week, we formalized a staff committee focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategies to set a path forward for our actions. This committee will also be seeking input from our volunteers and clients, and I look forward to sharing more information with you about how to get involved.
We cannot reverse the outcome of recent events, but we are committed and ready to do the work for meaningful change, so that health equity is achievable for all.
The MANNA community is truly a special one, and we are grateful to stand alongside you now.