Event Title

Gleaning Fresh Produce to ‘Water’ a Food Desert

Graduation Year

2013

Location

Room E104, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

20-4-2013 11:00 AM

End Date

20-4-2013 12:00 PM

Description

West Bloomington, Illinois is considered a food desert by the United States Department of Agriculture. Food deserts are a rising problem as chain grocery stores increasingly move outside of inner cities forcing these residents to make food purchases at smaller stores where prices are higher, quality is lower, and fresh produce is limited (Hendrickson et al. 2006, Walker et al. 2010, Wrigley et al. 2002). This study examined how West Bloomington can utilize its proximity to Central Illinois farms to aid in overcoming the impacts of a food desert. Through surveying West Bloomington residents and local farmers, in addition to interviewing others interested in food justice, solutions to food deserts were found to be multifaceted, and, gleaning at the Bloomington Farmers’ Market (collecting leftover produce), in conjunction with a mobile grocery store , were identified as feasible means to provide West Bloomington residents access to low-cost produce. Through these solutions, issues of access to produce, affordability of produce and interest in produce can be better addressed so as to provide ‘water’ to the West Bloomington food desert.

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Apr 20th, 11:00 AM Apr 20th, 12:00 PM

Gleaning Fresh Produce to ‘Water’ a Food Desert

Room E104, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

West Bloomington, Illinois is considered a food desert by the United States Department of Agriculture. Food deserts are a rising problem as chain grocery stores increasingly move outside of inner cities forcing these residents to make food purchases at smaller stores where prices are higher, quality is lower, and fresh produce is limited (Hendrickson et al. 2006, Walker et al. 2010, Wrigley et al. 2002). This study examined how West Bloomington can utilize its proximity to Central Illinois farms to aid in overcoming the impacts of a food desert. Through surveying West Bloomington residents and local farmers, in addition to interviewing others interested in food justice, solutions to food deserts were found to be multifaceted, and, gleaning at the Bloomington Farmers’ Market (collecting leftover produce), in conjunction with a mobile grocery store , were identified as feasible means to provide West Bloomington residents access to low-cost produce. Through these solutions, issues of access to produce, affordability of produce and interest in produce can be better addressed so as to provide ‘water’ to the West Bloomington food desert.