Essay The United States Department Of Agriculture

1673 Words Dec 23rd, 2016 7 Pages
Introduction

Food deserts exist across the United States and are a fundamental reason for health disparities (Food Empowerment Project, 2016). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines and measures food deserts based on the following three food access aspects: access to healthy food measured by the distance to a store or the number of stores in an area, an individual’s level of resources such income level or access to a car, and a neighborhood’s average income and public transportation (Economic Research Service, 2016). For example, according to the Food Empowerment Project, across the United States, 2.3 million people (2.2% of all US households) live more than one mile away from a supermarket and do not own a car (Food Empowerment Project, 2016). In urban communities such as New York City, public transportation may help provide access to healthy food to those living in food deserts, but according to the New York City Department of City Planning, there is a widespread shortage of neighborhood grocery and supermarkets that needs to be addressed (NYC.GOV, 2008). With this in mind, programs have been designed and implemented to help those with limited access to healthy fruits and vegetables and most at risk for diet-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (Sacks, Yi, & Nonas, 2015). In NYC, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) programs have targeted high-poverty neighborhoods such as the South…

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