Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
We recognize that an equitable food system cannot exist within an inequitable society: as a direct result of structural racism and white supremacy, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color living in Oregon perpetually experience the highest levels of hunger. Farmers Market Fund commits to centering anti-racism, racial equity, and inclusion in our programs, operations, culture, and advocacy. We strive to create and support an equitable and just food system that nourishes all Oregonians.
Past, Present, and Future Work
Since 2018, Farmers Market Fund has actively worked to build a culture of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion internally, while centering these values in our work with partners as well. In 2022, we are building on our past efforts; we commit to work towards becoming an anti-racist organization and dismantling white supremacy in our work. We acknowledge that this work will be an ongoing effort throughout the life of our organization.
Find summaries of our past, present, and future DEIJ work below.
- Beginning in 2018, our staff and board have participated in formal professional development and self-guided study on topics related to DEIJ.
- We began actively working to increase the diversity of our board membership
- Members of the FMF board began a bi-monthy discussion on DEI topics, with the goal of developing internal knowledge and building comfort in having these important conversations
- FMF started our partnership with Hunger-Free Oregon’s SNAP Client Advisory Board, a group of past and present SNAP participants.
- Working with the SNAP CAB has allowed FMF to develop lasting relationships with a small group of SNAP participants, creating an ongoing feedback loop that informs program design and outreach strategy, while centering the voices of those with the lived experience of hunger.
- We formalized a DEI committee, composed of staff and board members. The committee’s role is to engage the full board in the topic of DEIJ.
- FMF began asking farmers markets applying to participate in DUFB to outline discrete actions they’ve taken to make their markets more welcoming and inclusive to all shoppers.
- FMF and Portland Farmers Market staff collaborated on a monthly reading and discussion group focused on moving staffs’ equity and food justice work. Topics included: anti-racism, historic disparities in food and farming in Oregon and the US, and the current food justice movement.
- Developed a formal DEI statement (which we have revisited and updated in 2022)
- Our partners at Oregon Food Bank began their Ambassador program in 2021. The Ambassadors are a cohort of community leaders who provide feedback that helps the DUFB coalition lift barriers to participation and improve the program’s overall accessibility.
- Created a collection of DEI resources for markets hosted on our newly-developed Market Manager Hub.
- Made changes to our application requirements and review process in order to reduce barriers for markets to participating in the program in an effort to make the process more equitable.
- Our board participated in the Food Solution’s 21-day equity challenge, led by board member David Salerno-Owens
- Updated our hiring practices to remove requirements that could create unnecessary barriers, such as formal credentials and weight lifting requirements
- FMF increased the geographic, racial, economic, and gender diversity of board members, and instituted travel reimbursements for all board members traveling for FMF
- Revisited and updated our formal DEI statement
- For the 2022 DUFB program season, FMF made significant changes to program implementation, outreach materials, and training materials for participating farmers markets. These changes came in response to feedback around program accessibility and ensuring shopper dignity, and include:
Feedback from SNAP CAB and Ambassadors Action For the effort of utilizing the DUFB program and the cost of local produce, the $10 incentive feels too low. Institutionalizing a $20 match at farmers markets for the 2022 and 2023 seasons Shopping with the physical paper “Food Bucks” currency at farmers markets can feel stigmatizing. FMF will pilot a digital currency for use at a select number of farmers markets in 2023 and 2024 In some instances, DUFB participants have been treated poorly by staff when shopping with SNAP at farmers markets FMF staff developed a trauma-informed customer service training training required for all DUFB market managers, with the goal of ensuring that all SNAP shoppers are treated with dignity. Existing DUFB outreach and promotion are inaccessible and /or irrelevant to many Oregonians.
-Translated our full Double Up Food Bucks website into Spanish in 2021
-Translated our print materials into 4 commonly spoken languages in Oregon in 2021-2022 (Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, and Simplified Chinese)
The current DUFB program design (SNAP tokens & DUFB vouchers) is not user-friendly, which can create situations that retraumatize SNAP shoppers. -Provided markets with additional materials to help make program rules clearer to shoppers including a postcard with program basics like what can be purchased with Double Up Food Bucks, and laminated signs for vendors to hang on their booths signaling to shoppers where they can spend their Double Up.
- In 2022, FMF asked all DUFB markets to watch the Making Progress Towards Anti-Racist Farmers Markets webinar presented by shiny flanary, Market Manager at the Come Thru Market. This will be a requirement for new markets in 2023.
- FMF launched the Growth Grant program in early 2022 to help fund non-incentive administrative expenses associated with expanding the match limit from $10 to $20. We recognize the accounting, reporting, and active administration of the DUFB program can be burdensome for many farmers markets, especially under-resourced markets and those led by and serving historically underserved communities. The purpose of this funding is to create a more equitable DUFB program by providing direct financial support to farmers markets to help ease this burden and make participation in DUFB more feasible, sustainable, and widespread throughout Oregon.
- We are currently working on updating our employee handbook to ensure that it reflects the organization’s commitment to equity while not unintentionally reinforcing characteristics of white supremacy culture within FMF’s culture.
- Hiring a DEI-focused consultant who will provide a basic training that will enable the board and staff to develop a shared foundational understanding of and capacity for engaging in DEI work. In addition, we’re seeking support that will help us begin to assess FMF’s internal organizational culture and practices, interrogating the unwritten ways that our organization operates, communicates, and relates.
- Embarking on a board recruitment process that will help us increase the racial, economic, geographic, and gender diversity of the board, while simultaneously assessing the experience of being on the FMF board to ensure it is welcoming and accessible to all.
- We’re in the midst of conducting an in-depth program evaluation (both with our partners at Oregon State University and internally), and hope to learn more about the impact of programmatic changes implemented in 2022 on shopper demographics and perceived barriers to participation in DUFB. We will use this information to make adjustments to our program as needed to improve program accessibility.
- FMF has secured capacity support funds that can be used to reduce barriers that shoppers face to participating in DUFB at farmers markets. We are working on developing a system to equitably distribute these funds to farmers markets in 2023.
- Use our DEI statement to develop an equity lens that can be applied as FMF as an organization makes decisions.
- Continue to seek funding to support ongoing DEI training for both FMF board + staff and DUFB markets.
- Review existing bylaws, policies and procedures using a DEI lens.
- In response to feedback that physical currency can feel stigmatizing, FMF will pilot a digital currency for use at a select number of farmers markets in 2023 and 2024. This is one of the first pilots of its type in the nation.
- Build and strengthen relationships with groups of community members most impacted by hunger and food insecurity including organizations and networks outside of the Metro area, with the goal of learning how we can make changes that will increase the diversity of Oregonians who take advantage of the DUFB program
“4 Not-So-Easy Ways to Dismantle Racism in the Food System” by Leah Penniman, Yes Magazine.
A Hidden History: OR Black History Timeline By Walidah Imarisha
The Anti Racist Toolkit for Farmers Markets, Farmers Market Coalition