What is a Food Desert?
A food desert is a food environment unsupportive of health; it is defined by barriers which restrict access to healthful foods. Barriers may include lack of access to food retailers, availability of nutritious foods, or affordability of foods. *Source United Kingdom
If current trends continue…
1 in 3 U.S. adults will have diabetes by 2050.
The Cost of Obesity Is High.
- In 2008 obesity cost Americans $147 billion dollars
- Each year, medical expenses for the obese are 42 percent higher than for a person of a healthy weight.
Obesity in Cincinnati
- Almost 2 out of every 3 adults in Greater Cincinnati are overweight or obese.
- 1 in 3 Cincinnati adults are obese. Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey.
The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati (2010).
CDC’s Recommended Strategies to Prevent Obesity
- Increase availability of healthier food and beverage choices in public service venues
- Improve availability of affordable healthier food and beverage choices in public service venues
- Improve geographic availability of supermarkets in underserved areas
- Provide incentives to food retailers to locate in and/or offer healthier food and beverage choices in underserved areas
- Improve availability of mechanisms for purchasing foods from farms
- Provide incentives for the production, distribution, and procurement of foods from local farms Keener, D., Goodman, K., Lowry, A., Zaro, S., & Kettel Khan, L. (2009).
Recommended community strategies and measurements to prevent obesity in the United States: Implementation and measurement guide. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Food Access as a National Issue
- 23.5 million Americans do not have access to a grocery store within 1 mile of their home.
- Must spend significantly more time traveling to a grocery store.
Cincinnati needs 10 more supermarkets
to meet national average 24 – 34
The Grocery Gap
- Adults living in neighborhoods with supermarkets have the lowest rates of obesity and overweight.
- Adults living in neighborhoods with no supermarkets have the highest rates.
What is the Fresh Food Financing Initiative?
Benefits of a financing program
- Do Right Corner Stores
- 4 stores in Avondale
- 2 Hamilton County stores
- Improved access to healthy food
- Improved infrastructure
- Food Distribution Sites
Do Right Produce Markets :
- School Markets: $5 family-sized bags of Produce sold on Friday’s and Tuesdays
- Church Markets: Produce after service and bi-weekly or monthly
- Nutrition Education: Residents trained and received New Masters Nutrition Volunteer Certification , Each graduate has presented at least 2 trainings to church or community – Train the Trainer Model Community Garden and Local Grower Initiatives
- 20 Church sites
Next Step – Land Acquisition and Pilot local grower production in order to develop wholesale distribution system to support corner store and distribution sites
“When I found out that my sister and my mom had diabetes that made me want to eat healthier. I believe that every store should be like The Fresh Grocer because when I walk in the front all you see are the healthy things. A supermarket like that around where I would live at would change a lot of people to eat healthier.”
In February 2012, the expanded City Food Access Task Force was asked to study ways to establish financing mechanisms in order to incentivize new retail foor establishments that will offer healthy and nutritious foods to residents of Cincinnati’s food deserts. Please see the Cincinnati Fresh Food Retail Financing Fund Report to the City of Cincinnati with assistance from The Center for Closing the Health Gap, The Food Trust, The Ohio Grocer’s Association and the Cincinnati Development Fund.
Click to download a PDF of the report: