Many people are fortunate to not even have to think about questions of food access and food security, however, many people are less fortunate and live in neighborhoods and communities where fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products are scarce and grocery stores providing these products are very limited.
New York City’s Healthy Bodegas [Corner Store] Initiative aims to increase the number of healthy choices of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk throughout the City’s many corner stores and bodegas.
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service Food Desert Locator, which maps neighborhoods of people and census tracts of populations who live far from a full service grocery store and have low or limited access to healthy, nutritious food.
U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service Your Food Environment Atlas, which provides a spatial overview and mapping of county-level statistics on food choices, health and well-being, and other community attributes.
Mobile farmers markets and food carts are being developed and utilized in innovative ways to address and improve food access to healthy foods.
Farm Bus: From Farm 2 Family distributes seasonal, locally-grown produce, meat and diary products in urban Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C. and educate people and customers about food security with a retrofitted school bus that serves as mobile marketplace and classroom.
New York City Green Cart Initiative encourages mobile food carts to offer fresh produce in certain New York City areas. Mayor Bloomberg on March signed a local law, which establishes 1,000 permits for Green Carts.
Peaches and Greens Produce Market is operated by a faith-based community development corporation in Detroit, Michigan. As part of their Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, they seek to improve the availability and accessibility of fresh produce in under served neighborhoods of Detroit through community gardens and a mobile produce market.
Stockbox Grocers is one example of entrepreneurs trying to address the grocery gap in neighborhoods where good food is scarce.