In class, we talked about the food deserts. For those of you who do not know, food deserts are parts of the country that are without fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods available for purchase in the area. The problem with these food deserts are that people resort to getting quick meals, which are often fast food, because fast food is close and inexpensive.
If you click here you will be able to type in a location and see how much access to healthy food options are in that specific area. Areas that do not have many healthy options tend to have a fast food restaurant or a corner store that sells food high in sugar, fat, and sodium. We discovered that within these areas, many children were overweight because the snacks that they eat are not healthy. People rather pay 50 cents for a bag of chips versus a $1.50 for a banana.
Some 23.5 million people live in food deserts. Almost half of these people are in low-income areas. Not many people know about because towns will put in small corner stores that are basically placed in the same classification as Whole Foods, or Shop Rite. After learning all this information, my teacher divided us into groups. In my group, she asked us what we can do to not only bring to healthy food to the people, but also bring the people to the food.
After discussing different scenarios, my group came up with a plan that would benefit many people. You see in the rural areas many people live in low-income housing and have the means or transportation to shop for the healthy foods. They are always working, taking care of the house, the kids, and they would rather a faster meal.
With that in mind, we came up with a concept that is similar to a company named Blue Apron, a company that delivers fresh ingredients every week so you can prepare the different recipes. We wanted to design a program that people can sign up for and can have fresh food delivered to them weekly.
It sounds almost like Blue Apron, but the difference is that they will be specifically for the people in low-income neighborhoods. They would need to be making between $10,000-$35,000 a year, and provide proof of income and address. We would get different companies such as Dole, to sponsor the program and bring more attention to the issue at hand.
I am not a government official, I am just a student who believes that we are able to make a difference if we just start with planting the idea.
By Arnelle Pierre-Louis