As described by the Food Empowerment Project, food deserts are “described as geographic areas where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent due to the absence of grocery stores within convenient traveling distance.” Convenience in this context refers to within one mile of ones home. As long as grocery stores are within one mile that eliminates the need of a car or money for public transportations. Relatively healthy individuals are able to walk that distance back and forth carrying a few bags.
Dayton’s Food Deserts
Statistics show that in our country there are over two million people who live farther than a mile away from any grocery store and do not own a car. That’s 2.2% of the entire population. In suburban areas often the option for public transportation isn’t even available for people to travel to those grocery stores if they do have the funds for bus fare.
Sadly most food deserts exist amongst areas that are predominantly full of black and brown people. Dayton, OH, our hometown, is one of these areas. Specifically West Dayton. Area codes 45405, 45406 and 45417 hold 68,780 people. 55,497 of these people identify as African-American. 10,490 of these residents are on SNAP. 35.5% of these residents earn far below the federal poverty level. Guess how many major grocery stores there are.
There’s Only One Grocery Store
There is one major grocery store serving these 55,000+ people.
Here at Mindy’s Planet our goal is to build community gardens in these 3 zip codes so food is not only accessible but virtually free. All the residents will need to spend is time. We will also be offering gardening and cooking classes to children ages five to 12 so they can learn how to cook with the things they grow also !
It really takes a village. We’re relying on YOUR donations to make this dream come to fruition ! If you have it in your heart to help please do. You can donate through one of these avenues here.