A Place at the Table

Another 10-hour-day for the books…

Tonight we screened a documentary called A Place at the Table.

Here are a few highlights:

In the US it’s not an issue of lack of food, but quality of food. It’s about food insecurity and malnutrition.

As many as 50 million Americans don’t know where there next meal will come from. They rely on charitable organizations for food sources. It’s not the way to end hunger.

Public policy can work. In the 1970s they nearly eradicated hunger in the states. Then began to cut funding.

1 out of every 2 kids in the US will be on food assistance at some point.

Hunger and obesity are neighbors.

Access to fresh produce and vegetables are not available in small rural towns at “Mom and Pop” shops.

Urban v. Rural food desert: Shockingly, 75% of food deserts in the US are urban.

(While this article is nearly two years old, check it out for more information about food deserts.)

Child Nutrition Act. Cut funding from food assistance to put money into school food programs.

Processed food price decreased 40% while organic foods increased 40%.

Agribusiness is not food. Destroying soil.

Meet people where they are at rather than preach to them. Educate and empower.

When I got home tonight to write this I also stumbled upon this Food Access Research Atlas. It’s amazing how much of the country is considered a food desert, and how many millions of people are in food insecurity…

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Limited access to supermarkets, supercenters, grocery stores, or other sources of healthy and affordable food may make it harder for some Americans to eat a healthy diet.  Expanding the availability of nutritious and affordable food by developing and equipping grocery stores, small retailers, corner markets and farmers’ markets in communities with limited access is an important part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.

There are many ways to define which areas are considered “food deserts” and many ways to measure food store access for individuals and for neighborhoods. Most measures and definitions take into account at least some of the following indicators of access:

  • Accessibility to sources of healthy food, as measured by distance to a store or by the number of stores in an area.
  • Individual-level resources that may affect accessibility, such as family income or vehicle availability.
  • Neighborhood-level indicators of resources, such as the average income of the neighborhood and the availability of public transportation. “

Read more online here.

Citation: Economic Research Service (ERS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Food Access Research Atlas, http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas.aspx.



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