Food Desert - Possible Solutions

Possible Solutions

Because there are multiple possible causes of food deserts in a given area, it is necessary to have a high degree of knowledge about social, geographical, political and economic conditions in a specific area. Social relations, income levels, and age and marital demographics, as well as public transit routes, and geographical boundaries and barriers, are area-specific issues that must be taken into consideration when creating plans to improve accessibility of a given food desert. Government policies and programs can have detrimental, nationwide effects on low-income neighbourhoods’ accessibility to nutritious food. The U.S. government’s Food Stamp Program, for example, has been criticized for increasing the availability of fast food to the targeted, low-income group. Because food stamps can be used in many kinds of food retailers, the program has been accused of increasing accessibility to non-nutritious foods, rather than fresh fruit and vegetables. Research done in low-income neighbourhoods in Chicago, for example, has shown that fast food retailers and convenience stores are the only locations in designated food deserts that accept government food stamps. Because there are a diverse number of neighbourhood-specific and nation-wide causes for food deserts, there must be a diverse number of solutions applied collectively to increase accessibility of nutritious food.

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