(Photo by Flickr user Polycart, used under a Creative Commons license)
Maps can tell you where people shop. What they can’t do, it turns out, is explain how and why people shop the way they do.
It’s a new food security challenge for policymakers and practitioners. Once upon a time, the solution seemed simple: Identify a food desert and throw up a grocery store with fresh, healthy food options. If you build it, they will come — right?
No. This story in Next City explains why.
Researchers are coming to the conclusion that food deserts are much less a physical place than they are a personal experience determined by individualized factors such as income, education and habits. Food security is not just an access issue anymore. The barrier to healthy shopping and eating is much more intangible.
That means legislators and providers once tasked with increasing access must now find a way to create opportunity. There need to be incentives beyond discounts and weekly specials — programs that get healthy foods off the shelves and into the hands of shoppers.
Vetri Community Partnership‘s solution is an educational food truck that will traverse Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and partner with vendors to show folks how to actually make meals with healthy foods like kale.
Like anything else, food security is not just about showing up. It’s about sticking around to see the job through.-30-
From our Partners
How ReStore’s self-sustaining revenue model supports local housing in Philadelphia
Broke in Philly made a resource map for low-income Philadelphians
Philabundance launched Abundantly Good, a social enterprise for ‘upcycled’ food products
Nonprofits and startups can win up to $360K at the WeWork Creator Awards
Friends of the Rail Park
Friends of the Rail Park | Community Engagement and Programs ManagerApply Now
Ending the ‘closet to poverty pipeline’ for LGBTQ youth
In North Philly, a produce truck and a supermarket are fighting food insecurity
Kensington Storefront workers facing the opioid crisis head-on: ‘We need more help’ from the city
12 Philly immigrants who are ready to mobilize
Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity