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Food council forming to flood SA’s ‘food deserts’ with healthy eats

Greg Harman

If Supersize Me taught the world anything, it was that bad diet can kill a person as surely as a bullet. Unfortunately, the “access of evil” of modern inner-city life means that reaching a fat-and-salt-rich meal is often as easy as locating that ubiquitous liquor store or firearm. Securing foods that boost cellular health, maintain weight and energy levels, and improve mood, however, can take multiple bus transfers and punishing hikes [See “The Urban Garden Revolution”].

In foodie speak, such nutrition-starved city sectors are “food deserts.” A gathering Food Policy Council is being organized to develop ways to flood these areas with affordable, healthy food. “We want to make healthier, affordable food more accessible to all of San Antonio and try to limit or make the unhealthy food not as accessible,” said Len Treviño, of San Antonio Metro Health and the effort’s team liaison. “We want people to know where their food comes from.”

The effort is being launched with federal stimulus dollars targeting San Antonio’s obesity rates with the help of the Texas Hunger Initiative and the San Antonio Food Bank.

“We want to kick-start this thing, and we want them, the experts, [to] come together and do what they do well,” Treviño said. “One of the biggest priorities of this group is to develop a sustainability plan … They may decide to become a non-profit agency … but one of the directions we’re taking them is they need to put themselves in position where they can legally apply for grant funding.”

Folks are being sought from a variety of areas, according to the applications being circulated.

These include:

Food Assistance Program
Metro Health
AgriLife Extension Agency Representative
Education Service Center / Schools
Health Education
Local Grocer
Government Agriculture Agency
Urban Agriculture
Citizen Representative
Local agriculture producer
Labor Representative
Other skill

If you are interested in joining in, contact Treviño by August 25 at 210-207-5374
or leonard.trevino@sanantonio.gov.

Posted by gharman on 8/10/2010 12:08:49 PM
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