Access to fresh food is not just an issue in third-world countries. It’s a problem right here on American soil, and it’s affecting millions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines food deserts as “areas that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and other foods that make up a full and healthy diet.” This issue is also compounded by factors like lack of financial resources and an excess of convenience stores rather than large retail markets that stock healthy foods. Due to this problem, many communities in the U.S. struggle with a deficiency of proper nutrition, leading to a significant increase in child and adult obesity.
But not all hope is lost. There are some incredible organizations and individuals who dedicate their time to combatting this widespread issue. Read on to learn how 11 amazing groups are doing their part to put an end to food deserts.
Ford Mobile Farm – Detroit, MI
The car company that invigorated the Detroit community for so many years is giving back in a new way. Their Ford Mobile program provides clean-eating education programs to the local youth, and the company has worked on innovating shipping container farming. The freight facility, fitted to produce 52 harvests, is housed in the Cass Community Social Services and provides fresh goods to much of the struggling Detroit-metropolitan area year-round.
Robin Emmons – Charlotte, NC
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When Emmons recognized that many people in her community lacked the necessary funds and the transportation to get to the affluent areas providing fresh produce, she looked at her backyard. In a 2013 CNN profile, Emmons remarked, “I really thought it was an injustice. … Healthy food is a basic human right.” She transformed her backyard into a garden – growing chemically-free produce and donating it to local churches and food pantries. Thus forming the nonprofit, Sow Much Good, which has provided more than 26,000 pounds of fresh produce to various impoverished Charlotte-area communities.