Monday, February 26, 2007

A Food Desert

Do you live in a Food Desert? What is it? Wikipedia has a brand new definition for a newly coined term. Take a look at Present Tensed. I've already commented there about how I feel, but I will reiterate (since I can't help myself when it comes to a good rant).

I currently live in a something similar. Now, it's arguable that the mini-mart down the street carries food and thus can be considered a "food store". Well, sure. A food store for those with immense wealth and limited palates. The next closest supermarket is on the other side of town. We do have access to many food stores, but we are also slowly being overtaken by fast-food joints.

The problem with living in a food desert is not a problem for me (as long as I have transportation), but it IS a problem for the seniors living down the street. There are two high rises just blocks from me that are reserved for low-income senior citizens. Since the one grocery that was available to them was closed more than 10 years ago, they have had to take a bus or be otherwise transported to grocery shop. Likewise, the one drugstore that they had access to was closed several years ago. Both of those stores were within walking distance (2 blocks or less!) for them and now the closest grocery is more than a mile away. I doubt any of them living there are up for a hike that distance, especially since the load would be increased on the way home.

Yes, my city has fallen to the "big guy" like many across America. Mom-and-pop stores are but a memory in many cities and towns. The thing is, it doesn't just hurt mom and pop; it hurts anyone who needs to eat and doesn't have the means to get themselves to market.

Are you living in a food desert?


KFarmer said...

You know I live in the middle of no where so going to the grocery is a one time a week (if that) event- But the bigger towns next to us are over run with big companies- our county alone has THREE big W's- which I refuse to shop at. Consequently, the Mom and Pop's left a long time ago-were run out of business.

Ian said...

I feel fortunate that I live in a pretty cool section of Toronto, and that I can walk three blocks and find a small vegetable market, a medium-sized grocery store and a fairly good butcher shop, in addition to a specialty cheese shop. In the summer, there's even outdoor stalls set up on the street on the weekends. This is one of the reasons that I have resisted moving to the suburbs or getting a condo in one of the new high-rise developments going up seemingly everywhere in the city now.