Recently I have seen an advertisement for food deserts. The ad features kids who understand food deserts and define the term for a broad audience. These kids are young, and they understand the impact of food deserts on their communities. The advertisement is a call to end food deserts, but it does not give action to do so. It is a tool to make viewers aware of what food deserts are and whom they impact.
This map shows the food accessibility in our area and surrounding areas. The USDA created this mapping tool as part of First Lady Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative to end childhood obesity. One aspect of this initiative focuses on food accessibility. The advertisement and the mapping tool utilize children and the needs of children in order to produce change. I did not know how evident food deserts are the areas surrounding the Davidson community. What impact does the lack of fresh food have in these communities?
Rachel Slocum addresses race and food insecurity as intersecting issues. The issues can be seen in our community and the location of the low access to food that are highlighted in the map. Privileged areas such as Davidson have fresh food compared to other areas in Mecklenburg County. Programs that are meant to address issues in the food system often do not avoid or address institutionalized racism. She argues that anti-racism compliments the building of community food systems. The impact of programs that engage the community food movement and anti-racism would shift power and allow for solutions that are rooted in the community (Slocum 340).
Slocum, R. (2006), Anti-racist Practice and the Work of Community Food Organizations. Antipode, 38: 327–349.