Did you know that approximately 13.5 million Americans are living in areas known as “food deserts”? It’s an unfortunate reality that so many Americans don’t have access to fresh produce, leaving them with unhealthy options like fast food. There are many reasons why getting fresh produce and healthier choices are difficult for some people—including lack of resources, far commutes and/or high pricing—and the overall problem needs to be fixed.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), food insecurity is a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. For many, this can be the result of living in a food desert or not having the income necessary to purchase healthier food or even food spoilage. And this problem continues to grow.
Thankfully, some non-profits and other organizations have been assisting struggling communities. We’ve talked a bit about some companies providing homegrown produce in cities and urban areas, but now more are trying to do their part in helping communities! For example, the bulb introduced a series of weekly mobile farmers markets, bringing fresh produce to 15 food desert neighborhoods that lacked access to proper grocery stores.
Tiny Fields, a Minneapolis-based organization, has provided households with resources to start their own curbside gardens and grow their own fresh produce. This not only helps families get easier access but also provides a way to lower their carbon footprint!
Daily Table, a Massachusetts-based grocery store, has been working to provide affordable, pre-made meals, as well as to keep more food out of landfills. Along with food deserts, food waste has been another prominent problem.
In the Santa Fe community, MoGro, a pre-order delivery service, has started offering weekly produce shares on a sliding pay scale. This allows those with lower wages and income to pay what they can and still get the healthy food they need. They even host events to help families learn how to cook healthier and get the most out of their food!
While these are just four examples, there’s plenty of other organizations looking to provide helpful resources and options to those who lack them. Seeking out healthier options is not only great for an individual, but it can make a big impact on the planet as well. Fast food companies, for example, can produce quite a bit of trash that overloads the landfills or pollutes nature.