EAT DRINK & DISRUPT COMMUNITY FOOD DESERT
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a food desert is a low-income census tract (1 mile urban tract, 10 miles rural tract) where either a substantial number of residents have little to no access to a supermarket, a large grocer or affordable, high-quality, healthy food options (fresh fruits and veggies) .
One of the richest country's in the World, 40 million Americans live in poverty and 23.5 million Americans live within communities designated as food deserts. Either within or in close proximity to these communities are a proliferation of fast food restaurants, convenience and liquor stores; these are called food swamps. Existing primarily in communities of color, food deserts and swamps represent a form of systemic racism and oppression that disproportionately hit African-Americans and members of the Latino community like sledge hammers; hamstringing their ability to adequately defend against chronic disease, disability and death from preventable, treatable and, in most cases, reversible conditions.
Because of factors such as lack of affordable, quality options, aggressive marketing campaigns, economic/income inequality and systemic racism, obesity rates are significantly higher in these areas. These factors, coupled with a lack of vegucation, poor nutritional habits and lack of access to quality affordable options have created the perfect storm for our longtime leadership at the #1 position for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, stroke, most cancers and the coronavirus. Through targeted initiatives, campaigns and partnerships, we believe that it is our responsibility to help eradicate the pathways that give rise to food deserts and systemic injustices.