Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New research may help explain food store closure

Bayview Hunters Point isn't the only neighborhood to experience poor access to good food. It's a national problem. The solution, however, may not be national.

Raychelle Rino sent a link to new research about food access that suggests that the sort of corner store conversion programming that Literacy for Environmental Justice, SEFA and its Food Guardians program have advanced in Bayview Hunters Point can be effective.  The research also makes a case for more hyperlocal and targeted efforts, like Quesada Gardens, to improve the food landscape.  

Approaches that consider race alongside other factors are extremely important, the new research suggests. The study found that living in a poor, mostly black neighborhood presented "a double disadvantage" in supermarket access. Unsurprisingly, poor black neighborhoods had fewer supermarkets than wealthier black neighborhoods.

But those neighborhoods also had fewer supermarkets than poor white neighborhoods, suggesting that race still plays a role apart from poverty. In fact, the study showed that black neighborhoods with little poverty had fewer supermarkets, on average, than high-poverty white areas.

"Our study found that it's not simply an issue of poverty," wrote Kelly Bower, an instructor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, in an email to the Los Angeles Times. "In fact, a racially segregated poor black neighborhood is at an additional disadvantage simply because it is predominantly black."

No comments: