A Letter To End The Food Apartheid

We are tired of struggling and we refuse to stand down. Kroger and other multi-billion dollar corporations post #BlackLivesMatter, but don’t even have the decency to treat Black customers like human beings. I will not bow down and accept their crumbs. This is a movement. I am proud to share our most recent call for food justice. Much love to all the Black folks in Louisville who fought these same battles. I look forward to speaking with our elders about past Black supermarkets.

In the meantime, join us. Email/text/call/tweet Kroger and demand that Black folks be given reparations for the historic disenfranchisement of our community. If CEO, Rodney McMullen, can post about #BlackLivesMatter, then he should be held to that standard. Read our letter below and help us hold these executives accountable for the harm they continue to do in Black communities.

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Peace,

My name is Shauntrice. I am the director of #FeedTheWest. Over the last 2 months, we have served more than 14,000 West End residents who currently live in a food desert. I am also the owner of the Black Market KY, a West End home owner, and author of the Bok Choy Project.
Since you responded to our social media post today (and not the calls or emails made to Kroger directly over the last few weeks) we’d like to speak candidly with you about about food justice and racism for a moment. Kroger must do much better. The mobile market is not sufficient. The partnership with Dare To Care is not sufficient. Here are some highlights from the #BokChoyProject:

From 2011-2015, there were 335 infant deaths in Louisville Metro, out of 49,577 total births. Far and away, preterm births, low birth weights and infant mortality disproportionately affect Black babies. This is important because infant outcomes can impact health throughout the rest of one’s life. While infant mortality has slowly been falling, the death rate for Black babies from 2011- 2015 was 1.95 times higher than for Louisville Metro; 2.31 times higher than for White babies. (Louisville Metro 2017 Health Equity Report).

Black residents in Louisville are much more likely than white residents to have diabetes and heart disease. Black children are more likely to suffer from health issues, which lead to truancy and incarceration, but the Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), reported fiscal 2019 sales of $122.3 Billion. We invite Kroger to join us during our Press Push tomorrow (Wednesday, 5 August 2020) to respond to our Antiracism and Equity Commission‘s recommendations outlined below:

  1. Kroger should publicly admit to discriminatory food apartheid practices in the West End
  2. We ask that Kroger gift $5 million in unrestricted funds to #FeedTheWest
  3. Since many Kroger workers in the West End are facing eviction, we support an increase of all non-management workers’ wages to a living wage by deducting the difference from executive level Kroger representatives including the CEO.
  4. Increase Black farmer support by sourcing at least 30% more of your produce from the following Black farmers: Kentucky Greens and Cleav Family Farm.

Please respond by 11:00 am tomorrow (Wednesday 5 August 2020). We look forward to hearing from you.
For transparency and accountability, I have CCd a number of community members.


All the best,
Shauntrice L. Martin

#FeedTheWest Director

Change Today, Change Tomorrow

Shauntrice Martin

About Shauntrice Martin

Shauntrice Martin is a mother, financial advisor, and activist living in Louisville, KY. She is the founder of #FeedTheWest and a LEE Initiative Board member. Shauntrice also serves as a co-chair of the Coalition of Black Excellence Impact Nonprofit Team and a 2019 Forty Under 40 Honoree.

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