Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Finding Food That's Good and Healthy Is Tough for Some St. Louisans. This Effort Aims to Change That

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Finding Food That's Good and Healthy Is Tough for Some St. Louisans. This Effort Aims to Change That

Article excerpt

You could fill Busch Stadium at least 15 times with the number of people in the St. Louis area who don't have easy access to healthy food.

That's just one of the reasons the Missouri Coalition for the Environment held so many listening sessions with residents of north St. Louis in 2017 and 2018 -- to find a way to improve food security in the region.

But the group is not going at it alone. It's teaming up, Avengers-style, with other groups to work toward one of its goals: safe and equitable access to affordable, nutritious and culturally relevant foods for the more than 700,000 people who don't have such access now.

"Culturally relevant?" That means foods that a person or family or community knows from their cultural upbringing.

Leading the charge are members of both the St. Louis and St. Louis County health departments, who worked to ensure that the regional "community health impact plan" known as CHIP captured the work already being done by various groups looking at food access and healthy living in the region.

Food and farm director Melissa Vatterott and food justice organizer Tosha Phonix, who work for MCE, have been tackling issues related to the food system for the past seven years.

"Food accessibility is critical for our region to address," Vatterott said. But getting people access to healthy, affordable food is complicated in part because the disappearance of grocery stores disproportionately affects low-income communities of color.

The conversations from the listening sessions centered on topics such as where people shop, how they get there and what they want to see change. Their concerns: poor quality food, poor service and high prices.

Overwhelmingly, residents said they felt stores made assumptions about what types of food residents wanted, and in many cases residents reported having to travel outside of their neighborhood to find healthy food options. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.