Food deserts are defined as parts of the country void of fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy whole foods, found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers markets, and healthy food providers.
Few formal studies have been done in the United States, but sociologists and social service workers believe research eventually will show that life in food deserts is financially, mentally and physically costly.
Q: How does Sweetwater Urban Farms help with the problem of food deserts?
A: This is a very complicated question. Studies have shown that putting a supermarket into a food desert does not improve the health of those living there. However, Sweetwater Urban Farms brings a unique background in healthcare that is geared toward better outcomes.
Q: So what do you do differently?
A: Sweetwater Urban Farms incorporates a unique toolset that allows us to map food deserts across other social determinants. We look at the problem in a holistic way. For example, stress caused by poverty can be a higher determinate on your health than your eating habits.
Q: How does that impact food deserts in a different way?
A: Sweetwater Urban Farms takes a unique approach of including the local community – health organizations, urban planners, churches, and schools to be part of the care team for the community. Our greenhouses become a hub for leading the community through the many issues that confront their health.