KHFI Racial Equity Policy: Progress Over Perfection
5 Jul 2022
At the beginning of 2021, the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative (KHFI) was headed into its fourth year. The program was really starting to get its feet under it. The five partner organizations - Kansas State University Research and Extension (K-State), IFF, NetWork Kansas, The Food Trust, and the Kansas Health Foundation - were finding our stride on working together, and we had started to collect enough data to understand the impacts of the KHFI. One noticeable outcome was that the KHFI had not received many applications from Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color (BIPOC)-led food retailers.
Looking back, it is not clear if this realization was primarily led by data, the increased conversations around racial equity throughout the general society, the recent intake of two Black-owned food retail businesses which contrasted with the ownership of previous applications we had reviewed, or some combination thereof. Whatever the main catalyst, it was clear that we needed to discuss the racial equity goals of the KHFI and action steps were needed in order to reach our goals.