A Statement From Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC CEO Eric Aft
Is this the moment when enough is enough? I hope so. The pain we all feel is too much as we attempt to absorb the events of the past week over the killing of George Floyd and the many acts of violence perpetuated on our African-American citizens just over the past year. The pain felt by our African-American neighbors, friends, colleagues, and fellow community members is not something I can fully understand as a white male. What I do know is that Black Lives Matter and justice must be achieved. I started with the question because I have a deep-seated hope that this is the tipping point. Justice must be realized. I personally commit to listen better to those we serve through Second Harvest, especially our African-American neighbors, to comprehend fully the challenges they face and that we must confront together. As an organization, Second Harvest will build on the equity work we began three years ago and our commitments to engage more, listen more deeply, and apply what we hear in concrete action. We know this means seeking collaborations outside of our traditional partners and pushing ourselves to understand how our work around food justice and access is part of the bigger picture of justice for people of color in all communities we serve. The events of the past week are a reminder of the great challenges we face as a community and a nation around the fight for justice. Along with multiple examples of violence against people of color, especially African-Americans, inequities in the areas of education, economic opportunity, and many other arenas prevent us, as a nation and in our corner of North Carolina, from fulfilling the promise that we hold most dear – that all people have the right and opportunity to reach their self-determined potential. I know that we are strongest when every resident has the resources and support to reach that potential. Every person is an essential part of our community and everyone must be treated with dignity and respect. Our Second Harvest team is more committed than ever to help make these promises a reality.