Many Neighborhoods in the United States of America and world lack the access to healthy super markets. Food deserts are when a person lives 10 miles of more away from a healthy grocery store. Most food deserts have high poverty rates, high ethnicity rates and a large amount of fast food restaurants near them. People living in the poorest social economic class have 2.5% more fast food places around them. Most of the time people who live in food deserts lack money and access to buy nutrient filled foods. 23.5 million people currently live in food deserts and 9.2% of all housing units in the US lack a vehicle. In most of the US if you lack a vehicle it can be very hard to get to a healthy super market. Wealthy neighborhoods have four times as many super markets than poorer neighborhoods.
We interviewed a woman who lived in a food desert in another part of America. She said that even though she could access healthy food because she had a higher income and owned a car. She also said that she knew many people who could not access and afford healthy food. She told us that in the neighborhood she lived in there were a lot of restaurants that were very cheap and had extremely unhealthy food. She informed us of how mainly near her instead of super markets there were just corner stores with food that wasn't organic. She let us know that even though she wasn't directly affected by not having enough food, her whole community was and many of her and her children's friends were.
The community our solution is focused on a food desert in Los Angeles. This food deserts is a neighborhood called Vermont Vista. Vermont Vista is almost a 50% Hispanic and 50% African American neighborhood. We choose to focus on this community because it is relatively near us to us, so we can implant our solution easier. In both this neighborhood th rate of people having a four year degree are much lower the average for the rest of Los Angeles County. On average people in Vermont Vista 6.0% of residents 25 years or older have a four year. $31,272 is the average income for Vermont Vista. Vermont Vista's average income is low for the Los Angeles county and the country. This is also an income for one person in a family and someone could be supporting their whole family with that income which would make it very hard to afford healthy food. 24 is the median age in Vermont Vista which again is under the average age for our country. This neighborhood is considered a food desert. Part of the reason we choose this neighborhood to implement our solutions on is because it is very different from the community’s we live in.
Food accessibility directly correlates to many other huge problems. One of which is how the average person waste's is about a pound of food a day. There are 7.8 billions people in the world, so that adds up to 7.8 billion pounds of food waste created per day. Food waste is often caused by restaurants serving sizes that are larger than one person would want. Many of the restaurants in food deserts are cheap, unhealthy, fast food chain restaurants. Food waste creates 4.4 gigatones of greenhouse gas emissions per year, so food waste also contributes to climate change. Food deserts are related food waste because too much food is going to people who are wasting it, and not enough food is going to people who are in need of it. Poverty rates are 10% higher in food deserts and 2.3 million people currently live in rural areas, in poverty, with no super market in a 10 mile radius. People who live in food deserts are 45% more likely to get diabetes compared to people who don't live in food deserts. A study done in Chicago showed that the death rate from diabetes was twice as high in food deserts. Food deserts are a big problem and they affect people in so many ways. Food deserts connect to food waste, health issues, poverty, ethnicity and more. If a person in a food desert had access to healthy affordable food not just there health but so many other aspects in the persons life would improve. The problem we are trying to solve starts with access to nutrient filled healthy food.