Ever heard the term "food desert"?
Here's what the US Department of Agriculture's website has to say:
[USDA, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Health and Human Services] have defined a food desert as a census tract with a substantial share of residents who live in low-income areas that have low levels of access to a grocery store or healthy, affordable food retail outlet.
Lincoln Park has been designated as a food desert by the USDA, but community members are working on changing it into an oasis! Learn more about how you can get involved in promoting gardening, improving transportation options, or other ways of bringing great quality food into the neighborhood. The five goals of Fair Food Access are listed below--click to find out more!
Mission: To facilitate the sale of locally grown fruits and vegetables and locally made products in Lincoln Park.
The Lincoln Park farmers' market began at the Harrison Community Center in June 2013. Watch for its reopening for the summer of 2014! Goals include increasing the variety and number of vendors as well as the usage of SNAP benefits to connect low-income residents with fresh, local food.
Mission: To bring a grocery store within the Lincoln Park neighborhood to improve access and eliminate Lincoln Park's "food desert" designation.
Fair Food Access has been using market studies and surveys to determine how best to get affordable, nutritious food into the neighborhood. Some positive developments on this front include Kwik Trip's decision to open a store on 27th Ave. West between Superior and Michigan, which will offer fresh options and important staples at affordable prices.
Mission: To implement nutrition education programs and cooking classes for community members to improve awareness of healthy foods and how to prepare them in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Nutrition education information is displayed at the Lincoln Park farmers' market, and FFA has partnered with Northern Expressions Arts Collective to provide education for kids' groups. Look for more classes and demonstrations in the future!
Mission: To create better means of transportation and access for community members to get to and from sources of healthy food options.
The survey Fair Food Access conducted in 2013 suggested that transportation will be crucial in getting Lincoln Park residents connected to a variety of healthy food. Grocery guides are being distributed via the DTA to help residents know where to go.
Mission: To increase access to fresh, healthy food in the Lincoln Park neighborhood through gardening.
The Emerald Community Garden was installed in spring 2013 to give residents a chance to plant their own garden plots. Gardening and food preservation clsases are being held at the Emerald and the Harrison Community center so new gardeners can learn to preserve their crops through canning and freezing and have great local food all winter long!