Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rand Corporation: Tamara Dubowitz- Eliminating Food Deserts

Source: Rand Corporation-
Source: Rand Corporation: Tamara Dubowitz- Eliminating Food Deserts

We have at least a couple problems as it relates to access to quality food in America. One, is affordability. We simply have too many Americans who don't make enough money to afford enough.

Two, we have have an obesity problem as well however you want to define that problem. Where obesity and diabetes are the two fastest growing diseases in America and what makes that problem even worse, is that they are both preventable diseases and they are both adding to the Un- ffordability of our healthcare system. Now 18% of GDP, twice as much as the rest of the developed world.

So those are the problems and what can we do about them. Somebody famous once said for every problem that is not fatal, presents an opportunity to fix that problem. That's how I look at poverty in America, including hunger in America and unhealthy living and our healthcare system. Long-term we really need to reduce poverty in America so we have more people who can afford to take care of themselves. Including living healthy and that gets to education and job training for both juveniles and adults. Who are currently living in poverty, because if we don't do those things and these people don't do these things for themselves with access to being able to go back to school and get into job training, they'll never get out of poverty with a job that allows for them to be able to pay their own bills and not need things like food assistance. Including food banks and they'll continue to either be unemployed on public assistance, or work low-wage low-skilled jobs while they are collecting public assistance.

The other thing that we need to do short-term, is expanding grocery stores in low-income areas. Incentivizing companies ability for them to sell food in low-income communities, so these families can feed their families. That problem is big enough and gets to the fact that we have roughly 1-5 Americans who live in poverty in this country and that's official. And the other problem that we have is not grocery stores and other places where low-income people can have access to affordable quality food in America. And then you compound those problems. We need  urban and rural and empowerment zones and non-profit food banks and other charities to expand into these areas as well. And start subsidizing healthy food and healthy living over unhealthy behavior. And then we'll have a healthier country with less people in poverty without enough quality food to eat.