The United States-based Queer Food Foundation (QFF) recently launched a mutual aid project to support members of the Black queer and trans community affected by food insecurity.
Comprised of 15 members spread across the U.S., QFF launched in 2020 “to be a resource and platform for queer folks in food, and secondarily, to promote, protect, and fund queer food space,” Gabrielle Lenart, Founding Board Member of QFF tells Food Tank.
QFF’s project, known as the Queer Food Fund, will distribute grants of US$100 via Cashapp and Venmo to those in need. The Foundation hopes to raise US$13,000 to support 130 individuals.
According to research from the What We Know Project at Cornell University Black LGBTQ+ Americans are more likely to experience economic insecurity and food insecurity than Black non-LGBTQ+ individuals.
QFF opted for a mutual aid model because it helps to remove barriers to access, says Superior Murphy, who sits on QFF’s Board of Directors. “For generations, marginalized groups have had to navigate providing care for their communities where the government has lacked and so what we’re doing and many organizers are doing recently is not new,” they tell Food Tank. “Mutual aid often fills in the gaps of care individuals need for survival.”
Individuals can apply for funding by providing their name, Venmo or Cashapp handle, and the preferred platform for receiving funds. They also have the option to explain what the grant means to them. Those in a position to support the fund can also do so through donations on QFF’s website.
“The QFF feels really passionately about ensuring there are minimal barriers for the Black queer individuals who need access to this pot of money,” Murphy says “This is why our application process is short, and ask as little as possible of recipients.”
QFF launched the Queer Food Fund for the first time in 2021, raising US$5,000 in its first week. “Our community really showed out,” QFF Founding Board Member Vanessa Parish tells Food Tank.
This year, Parish explains that fundraising is moving more slowly. But, she says, they are still pushing to raise awareness and reach their goal.
QFF is also developing a database “on all things queer food,” says Parish. It will include individuals, organizations, businesses, literature, and more. And in the future, they look forward to hosting more events.
“We want to start bringing people together in person,” Parish tells Food Tank. “[We want to go to] different states, regions, and cities with events around the country so that people can meet and support right in their local communities.”
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Photo courtesy of Gaelle Marcel, Unsplash