food insecurity

Food Deserts and Food Insecurity

(Source) According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 23.5 million Americans reside in food deserts. While the issue has received copious news coverage and widespread recognition in recent years, researchers and policymakers alike have yet to develop an adequate solution. Beyond the obvious issues posed by such a problem, food deserts are incontrovertible evidence of inequality in the richest country in the world. To remediate this issue in a lasting way, solutions must be multifaceted and adequately account for the experiences of members of these communities. Beyond increased funding, public private partnerships and co-op business models may provide just this sort of solution. I. The Issue By definition, a food desert is a geographical area in which residents live below the poverty line and more than one mile away from a supermarket. The residents of such areas typically lack meaningful access to personal transportation. As a result, they must resort to public transportation to reach the grocery store. According to residents of a notorious food desert in southern Memphis, TN, it can often take upwards of an hour to reach the supermarket even if buses are running on time. Yet, like other Americans, residents of these areas also [read more]