Foodnet Executive Director’s Statement June 2020

Jessica Gosa

Jessica Gosa, LMSW
Executive Director

Perhaps 2020 will be our most important year yet. A year that can be about progress towards critical change, action, innovation, learning, listening, partnership, and acknowledging pain and truth. The devastation, trauma, and anxiety that is felt across the nation is real. Racial disparities, inequities, and systemic oppression existed long before 2020, but have been amplified by COVID-19 and racial violence. We hear the anger, hurt, and pain that is felt by our nation, our communities, clients, staff, volunteers, and especially by people of color. We stand with you.

Foodnet’s mission focuses on providing access to nutrition services to promote dignity and to improve the quality of life and health of older adults and others. We recognize the complexities of senior hunger and are committed to combat some of the biggest threats to healthy aging. But this alone is not enough. We have more work to do. This pandemic has underscored how the social determinants of health impact health equity. Structural racism directly contributes to poverty and hunger with higher rates of hunger among African American seniors, which must be addressed.

Our team will push forward within an organizational culture that supports learning, diversity, inclusion, partnership, and practices that embrace informed change. We are committed to working with our partners to address inequities, injustice, and oppression that lead to negative barriers and devastating outcomes. We are committed to listen, learn, and work with our partners to build a stronger system. We look forward to continuing this conversation.