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Food Deserts

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NEWS
September 23, 2011 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Saying "sugar is the new street drug," a researcher who is an expert on the dearth of nutrition in low-income neighborhoods told an antihunger symposium in Philadelphia on Thursday that there are myriad health consequences for people living in so-called "food deserts. " Mari Gallagher, a Chicago public-health researcher, mapped Chicago neighborhoods to measure the distances residents had to travel to stores that stocked fresh produce and other healthful foods. One conclusion she drew was that poor people "who cannot choose an apple as easily as a burger" invariably eat the foods closest to them, resulting in higher rates of diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.
NEWS
January 10, 2012 | BY U.S. REPS. ALLYSON SCHWARTZ & BOB BRADY
FOR THE first time in history, American children are living shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. In the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate has tripled, and trend lines for adults are no more encouraging. In 20 years, half of all adults in the U.S. are projected to be obese. Make no mistake - the obesity epidemic in America is leading to increasing rates of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and this is having a major impact on our economy.
NEWS
October 13, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Yael Lehmann joined the Food Trust in 2001, she spent much of her time explaining that, though the nonprofit works on food access, it is not, in fact, a food bank. Since then, food access has become a hot issue. And the organization, whose staff has increased from five to 107, has helped bring fresh produce to 600 corner stores in the city, nutrition educators to 100 schools, and 27 farmers' markets to underserved neighborhoods. We asked Lehmann, Food Trust executive director, about that work, the popularity of the food-truck Night Market events, and being a full-time mother and part-time rocker for the band Happy Accident, with her husband, Blake, and the Food Trust's Brian Lang.
NEWS
February 18, 2010 | By Alfred Lubrano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Michelle Obama will be in Philadelphia tomorrow to visit two sites - one of them Fairhill School in North Philadelphia - where she will discuss her initiative to prevent childhood obesity, according to a representative. She will be joined by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to highlight the problem of so-called food deserts - large swaths of urban areas that do not have supermarkets. They will also discuss steps that Philadelphia antihunger groups have taken to bring healthy, affordable food to various neighborhoods.
NEWS
February 17, 2010
FIRST LADY Michelle Obama's visit to Philadelphia on Friday will focus on a critical component of her campaign against obesity - access to healthy food. And that has more to do with income than it should: millions of low-income and minority families live in what have been tagged "food deserts," areas that lack supermarkets or other places to buy fresh, healthy food. Which is why Mrs. Obama is headed our way. She will visit supermarkets here to highlight the success of the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative - which is the model for President Obama's plan to spend $400 million to leverage private money for grants to build or renovate supermarkets in underserved locations.
NEWS
October 28, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Next spring, when the warm weather brings on thoughts of gardening and summer harvest, Michelle Obama will publish her first book. American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspired Families, Schools and Communities will be served up in April. It's the first book for the first lady, who went to Harvard Law and Princeton after starting out in Chicago's public schools. Her professional life has included being a lawyer, community activist, and staffer at the University of Chicago.
NEWS
December 26, 2011 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Every Friday morning, Betty Crymes heads to the lobby of her senior residence with bags in hand and waits for the $4 weekly shuttle that will ferry her five miles to the ShopRite in Brooklawn. Like many of her carless neighbors in Camden - who ride the shuttle, take two buses to get to the city's only large supermarket, or pay someone to drive them to a suburban store - Crymes needs a full day to get basic provisions. The nine-square-mile city, home to nearly 80,000, has only one chain grocery - a Pathmark at the southeast edge of town - and few midsize independent groceries.
NEWS
February 15, 2014 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Low-income America is rife with food deserts, where supermarkets are scarce and good food so rare that people have little choice but to shop in corner stores, whose processed and highly caloric foods contribute to obesity. Build a decent supermarket with good, fresh produce, social scientists have said, and residents will flock to the oasis, their neighborhood a desert no more and their health much improved. That kind of thinking inspired the creation of a Fresh Grocer store in North Philadelphia, opened to great fanfare - including an appearance by Michelle Obama - on North Broad Street near Temple University in 2009.
NEWS
May 28, 2013
By Christina Weiss Lurie and Joan C. Hendricks After years of being under the radar, America's hunger crisis is becoming a growing reality for many people. One in six Americans goes to bed every night with empty stomachs. Poverty is forcing millions into "food insecurity" - the inability to know where your next meal is coming from. Families are buying cheaper, less nutritious food or cutting meals entirely. The problem is not a lack of food; it's the inability to provide nutritious, safe, affordable food for everyone.
NEWS
August 3, 2009
OVER THE LAST three decades, the U.S. has become increasingly fat, unhappy - and sick. Expensively so. At $147 billion a year, obesity-related illnesses - diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer and stroke - cost the nation's medical system almost twice as much as treating all forms of cancer, says Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. Obesity is the single biggest reason for the recent increase in health-care costs, maintains Eric Finkelstein, a health economist.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
October 13, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Yael Lehmann joined the Food Trust in 2001, she spent much of her time explaining that, though the nonprofit works on food access, it is not, in fact, a food bank. Since then, food access has become a hot issue. And the organization, whose staff has increased from five to 107, has helped bring fresh produce to 600 corner stores in the city, nutrition educators to 100 schools, and 27 farmers' markets to underserved neighborhoods. We asked Lehmann, Food Trust executive director, about that work, the popularity of the food-truck Night Market events, and being a full-time mother and part-time rocker for the band Happy Accident, with her husband, Blake, and the Food Trust's Brian Lang.
NEWS
February 15, 2014 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Low-income America is rife with food deserts, where supermarkets are scarce and good food so rare that people have little choice but to shop in corner stores, whose processed and highly caloric foods contribute to obesity. Build a decent supermarket with good, fresh produce, social scientists have said, and residents will flock to the oasis, their neighborhood a desert no more and their health much improved. That kind of thinking inspired the creation of a Fresh Grocer store in North Philadelphia, opened to great fanfare - including an appearance by Michelle Obama - on North Broad Street near Temple University in 2009.
NEWS
May 28, 2013
By Christina Weiss Lurie and Joan C. Hendricks After years of being under the radar, America's hunger crisis is becoming a growing reality for many people. One in six Americans goes to bed every night with empty stomachs. Poverty is forcing millions into "food insecurity" - the inability to know where your next meal is coming from. Families are buying cheaper, less nutritious food or cutting meals entirely. The problem is not a lack of food; it's the inability to provide nutritious, safe, affordable food for everyone.
NEWS
February 3, 2013 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
It has been 30 years since the last supermarket set up shop in Camden, at its far southern end - now the only such store in the city. Since then, most residents have turned to bodegas and other small groceries to purchase food. The Camden Children's Garden and its affiliated Camden City Garden Club have tried to fill the fresh-produce void. But that role may be in jeopardy as the garden faces eviction from its waterfront home. Each growing season, hundreds of seeds are planted in the Children's Garden grow labs and later transferred to community gardens throughout the city.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 2012 | BY LARI ROBLING, For the Daily News
  WHEN first lady Michelle Obama launched her Let's Move! initiative in February 2010, it brought attention to school lunches, food deserts in urban neighborhoods and the rise in obesity, particularly among children and the poor. Among the results so far has been a campaign to make locally grown and healthy foods available in all communities, including city neighborhoods with few fresh-food resources. Change often comes slowly and, to paraphrase the adage, you may be able to lead the horse to an organic carrot, but you can't necessarily make it eat it. Mary Seton Corboy, founder of Greensgrow, Philadelphia's most successful urban farm, has been vocal about her frustration that her Kensington neighbors have been reluctant to give up their corner-store calories and opt in to Greensgrow's fresh and local fare.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2012 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was almost by accident, the way City Council President Darrell L. Clarke shared the news with his mentor, former Mayor John F. Street. But in a big city where battles over business can be complex and too numerous to count, even a rare victory like this one in Brewerytown can become an afterthought. The duo were on the phone Thursday morning when Street's onetime right-hand man said he had to dash for 31st Street and Girard Avenue. There, a construction crane would soon load a steel roof onto a new cinder-block building in a neighborhood that had once been the city's beer-brewing capital.
NEWS
June 12, 2012 | By Mari A. Schaefer and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When Chester police raided a former drugstore in May 2011, what they found gave new meaning to the term high tech. In the basement was a hydroponic marijuana farm of serious sophistication. Nearly 100 pot plants, from seedlings to lush, 4-foot bushes, flourished in large tubs of water. Faux sunshine from dozens of commercial-grade grow lights powered by industrial generators shone down on a crop worth at least $43,000. The confiscated equipment typically would have sat in a warehouse until it could be auctioned or destroyed.
NEWS
February 27, 2012
By Linda Bonvie I guess I really must be out of the loop, because I've just discovered that I live smack in the middle of a "food desert. " Living in a food desert, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, means I have "low access to a supermarket or large grocery store" - defined as being more than one mile from such a store in an urban area or more than 10 miles in a rural area such as mine. According to the experts, this results in poor food choices, a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables, and dinners composed of chips and soda from the corner convenience store.
NEWS
January 10, 2012 | BY U.S. REPS. ALLYSON SCHWARTZ & BOB BRADY
FOR THE first time in history, American children are living shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. In the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate has tripled, and trend lines for adults are no more encouraging. In 20 years, half of all adults in the U.S. are projected to be obese. Make no mistake - the obesity epidemic in America is leading to increasing rates of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and this is having a major impact on our economy.
NEWS
December 26, 2011 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Every Friday morning, Betty Crymes heads to the lobby of her senior residence with bags in hand and waits for the $4 weekly shuttle that will ferry her five miles to the ShopRite in Brooklawn. Like many of her carless neighbors in Camden - who ride the shuttle, take two buses to get to the city's only large supermarket, or pay someone to drive them to a suburban store - Crymes needs a full day to get basic provisions. The nine-square-mile city, home to nearly 80,000, has only one chain grocery - a Pathmark at the southeast edge of town - and few midsize independent groceries.
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