Bringing healthy food to the desert

Grocery, shopping, produce, vegetables

While it’s true that temperatures have been unusually high lately, Florida has not been reclassified as a desert. Rather, “food deserts” are areas in cities where neighborhoods are a mile or more away from accessing healthy foods. You may not know that it takes some of our residents two hours to travel for groceries, but that’s the reality for thousands of people who don’t have cars.

A compelling story from ABC Action news has a direct connection to the work of local planners to make sure people have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. A simple trip to a nearby Walmart is anything but, according to University Square resident Sylvia Blaxton, who relies on public transit.

Residents of the Terrace Park | University Square neighborhoods are being asked to take a survey on access to healthy foods and are invited to a community meeting on February 21st at 6pm at the Copeland Park Community Center. The Planning Commission and the Department of Health will discuss research findings and a potential community garden for this community. This work is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The MPO’s grant: (announced in a previous issue) from the American Public Health Association is also helping with the effort, adding attention to creating safe walk and bike connections to community gardens. Hope you’ll join us!


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