food deserts

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Central Community Cooperative

This video details efforts in the Central neighborhood of Cleveland to establish a cooperative to provide better food access in this food desert neighborhood. The Central Community Cooperative project emerged out of a student project to identify business opportunities to meet unmet needs within the neighborhood. Here current and past students of Cuyahoga Community College describe their efforts to establish a cooperative that combines volunteerism, affordable food access, and connections to broader urban agriculture projects in their neighborhood.

Rural Food Deserts

Mark Winne, food activist and author of Closing the Food Gap, discusses the challenges of "rural food deserts". While significant attention is paid to issues around food access and public health in urban areas, Winne describes how more than 800 rural counties in the United States have are considered food desert counties. The rates of obesity in these areas is higher than obesity rates found in metropolitan areas. While rural food deserts are particularly concentrated in southern and western parts of Ohio, Northeast Ohio has significant rural areas where food access is an issue. Ultimately, Winne suggests that we need to think of urban and rural revitalization as ways to restore health in both areas.

Understanding Food Deserts and Factors Affecting Healthy Food Access

This presentation, prepared on behalf of the Ohio Food Policy Council's Healthy Food Access Task Force, identifies the challenges of healthy food access in BOTH urban and rural areas in Ohio. In terms of framing healthy food access efforts in Northeast Ohio, the report indicates the need to look at food access that affects both urban and rural communities, each requiring a different set of potential policies and solutions. 

Rural Food Access Gaps

This research brief, prepared by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), determines healthy food access challenges confronted by rural communities in Ohio. The report considers three aspects of food access: physical accessibility (how close are retail food outlets with healthy food choices and what are transit options), economic accessibility (how affordable is food and is there competition between multiple outlets that tends to keep prices lower), and healthy accessibility (are there healthy food options versus a dominance of fast food outlets). The report determines that a lack of larger stores, a lack of competition, and high concentrations of fast food alternatives present unique challenges to healthy food access for rural populations. Given that more than 5 million Ohio residents live in rural areas, this requires a unique set of policies and approaches. 

Hungry for Health: A Journey Through Cleveland's Food Desert

A short documentary film produced by Theresa Desautels, a Cinema Studies major and recent graduate of Oberlin College, Hungry for Health feature s a day in the life of Willa Sparks; a woman who overcomes the environmental obstacle of living in a food desert, an inner-city neighborhood without easy access to a grocery store. Determined to give her family the healthy food that every person deserves, Willa takes an hour long bus ride at the first of every month to get to the closest grocery store. If healthy food won’t come to her, as her neighborhood is infested with fast food restaurants and corner stores, then she will go to it. This film was produced as a senior project. This film shows a close and personal view of how the challenge of food access affects many Cleveland residents. Includes commentary by Matt Carroll, director of Cleveland Public Health Department, Gigi Traore director of the Power Network, Grace Lee Boggs, author, and Brad Masi, co-founder of City Fresh. 

Metro Hospital Fresh Stop

This video features the Buckeye-Metro Fresh Stop, a collaboration between Metro Hospital and City Fresh. Located on the east side of Cleveland, the Fresh Stop brings fresh vegetables from local farms to residents of one of many neighborhoods in Cleveland that struggle with healthy food access. The staff at Metro Hospital use the Fresh Stop as a mechanism to provide both food access and education in nutrition, healthy lifestyle, and preventative health care. This shows one of many examples of how residents and institutions can collaborate in a neighborhood to improve healthy food access. Produced by Brad Masi, David Pearl, and Tom Kondilas, the makers of the film PolyCultures: Food Where We Live. 

Farmers Markets in Low-Income Neighborhoods

Report that makes recommendations for expanding farmers market activities in low-income neighborhoods in inner-city Cleveland.

Food Desert Study for Cuyahoga County

Presentation of food desert study for Cleveland/Cuyahoga County completed by the Cuyahoga County Planning Department in conjunction with the Community Food Assessment Working Group of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition.

Food Access and Food Deserts in Cleveland

This is a short clip from LESS Productions' feature length documentary PolyCultures: Food Where We Live. The movie is about the efforts to create a sustainable food production system in Northeast Ohio. In this clip, we hear commentary from experts Mark Winne and Punam Ohri-vachaspati, who explain the phenomenon known as a "food desert" and grocery stores have become fewer and farther between in urban communities.

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