Black Lives Matter
In the wake of the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the others that did not get the same level of national attention - Handsome Brook Farms recognizes that there is a systemic issue that our country faces with regards to racial injustice. We have taken a hard look at ourselves internally and as a brand over the last few weeks, and know we need to play a part in understanding and uplifting the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in our communities, particularly those in the food and agricultural system in which we directly work. At our core, Handsome Brook Farms believes that respect for all human life is a basic right and acting with integrity and compassion compels us to not only think and say more about these events, but also to do more.
As a company, we have defined ‘Handsomeness’ as acts of generosity to our planet, our hens, our farmers. We have long upheld these standards for welfare and sustainability, but we know that being Handsome means so much more. While these pillars stand strong, our responsibility to act handsomely is far from over—we have work to do in diversity, inclusion, and opportunity. We're committed to continuing to donate, to listen, to work, to plan, to look inside and be better, to amplify voices and keep you updated on our progress every step of the way.
As a first step in a larger initiative, Handsome Brook Farms has donated $250 on behalf of every employee to Soul Fire Farm, a BIPOC-centered community farm in Petersburg, NY committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system, for a total donation of $5,000.
Take a look at the vital work Soul Fire Farm is doing here. While there are many meaningful ways the donation will be of assistance to Soul Fire Farm, we are excited about having our donation likely support the beginning of their campaign to upgrade their facilities that serve over 10,000 people each year, including farmer training for Black and Brown growers, reparations and land return initiatives for northeast farmers, food justice workshops for urban youth, harvest distribution for people living under food apartheid, and systems and policy education for public decision-makers.
Furthermore, HBF offered a 1:1 matching gift program for each employee during the month of June. Through this initiative, our team collectively donated $1,775, for a matched total of $3,550 benefitting the below organizations that we feel are aligned with our own goals of environmental and social equity within the food system.
Harlem Grown http://www.harlemgrown.org inspires youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition. Founded in 2011, they operate local urban farms, increase access to and knowledge of healthy food for Harlem residents, and provide garden-based development programs to Harlem youth.
Heal Food Alliance https://healfoodalliance.org/strategy/arenas/ brings together groups from the various sectors of movements for food and farm justice to build collective power toward transformative change. HEAL is a multi-sector, multi-racial coalition building collective power to transform food and farm systems. They are led by our member-organizations, and strive to amplify the experience and expertise of frontline communities who are most burdened by the disparities of our current systems. Together, they are developing solutions to drive change.
Planting Justice – https://plantingjustice.org/ is a grassroots organization with a mission to empower people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequities with the skills and resources to cultivate food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing.
The Ron Finley Project http://ronfinley.com/the-ron-finley-project/ is realizing his vision for community gardening and rejuvenation by teaching Americans to transform food deserts to food forests. He is helping them learn to regenerate their lands into creative business models.
- Soul Fire Farm www.soulfirefarm.org is a BIPOC-centered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. They raise and distribute life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. They bring diverse communities together on their land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice.
The external impact we can make as a company is vast but as we all know, real systemic change comes from within. Alongside our effort comes a hard look at our own company and how we're represented in various levels of the organization. Black Lives Matter and we stand in solidarity with the Black community and all who are working toward social justice and equality.
Find more BIPOC Agricultural resources @handsomebrookfarms on Instagram.