Food deserts

As we get ready to launch our series of events on fair food labor, it is important to remember the other aspect of the “fair” commitment in Slow Food’s mission: fair access to food.

On Sunday, The Oregonian devoted an article to the disparities between neighborhood access to grocery stores around Portland. Even in our town, where we prize our farmer’s markets and co-ops, many residents have difficulty reaching affordable, nutritious foods. In many lower-income neighborhoods, the edible options end with convenience stores.

The article, which includes a brief photo essay of one family’s commute to a grocery store, examines how grocery stores are sited and the city’s ideas for addressing the inequities. Among the solutions are incentive plans for corner stores to sell more produce, improved bus and shuttle service, expanded community garden programs, and more farmer’s markets, like the popular Lents market.

This is an important issue to consider as Slow Food Portland gets increasingly engaged with fair food issues. Look for more coverage and events in the coming year that will address the difficulties of ensuring wide, affordable access to good, clean, and fair food.

Map courtesy of Coalition for a Livable Future’s Regional Equity Atlas.

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