Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's an Urban Food Desert?

My friend, teacher and mentor, Robyne Stevenson Turner, is committed to improving the urban inner city at every level - with her research and through her personal lifestyle choices.  She recently wrote a piece about lack of access to food markets.   Although she's focused on Kansas City, this is a problem in urban Phoenix and probably every other city in the country.   Obviously, groceries are a necessity for all of us who don't raise our own vittles.  Yet the grocery business is just that - a business - and grocers, like other businesses, tend to site their stores where they like the demographics, where the streets are safer.  Inner city doesn't get its share, and that means residents have less availability, fewer food choices,  more hunger and health issues, more travel cost involved in pursuing food, etc.

Here is the opening:

"A food desert is more than just the absence of grocery stores.  Like a sand desert, there are oasis of food in urban places if you know where to look.  But is the oasis real or a mirage?  Peeling back the layers, you begin to see that a desert that at first looks like a liability is in fact an economic opportunity that can change the health and well-being of residents of the urban core."

Link here to read Robyne's piece.

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