Despite an overwhelming amount of facts, studies, and annual reports proving the contrary, many people today continue to deny the existence of hunger in the United States. Middle-aged Americans will recall hearing their parents demanding them to finish your dinner because there are people without food in Africa or China. Not many of these parents repeated the metaphor with children going without food in Detroit or Newark. Furthermore, today one does not have to go to any of these cities that have become synonymous with urban decay to see signs of hunger. Minneapolis, often ranked by magazines as one of the top five urban areas to live in the U.S., has a hunger problem (A Municipal Food Policy for Minneapolis).
[...] For this reason the quality of supermarket food and the ability to access this food plays a major role in the health of the residents of north Minneapolis. “Food retailers have redlined low-income neighborhoods,” says Hannah Burton, the program director for the Philadelphia Food Trust Supermarket Campaign. Many other researchers have studied the effects of this type of disinvestment since the trend began in the 1960's. The pattern of supermarket flight has been shaped along racial as well as class lines. [...]
[...] There are five food shelves that serve residents of North Minneapolis: Salvation Army North Branch, Masjid Al-Nur, First Community Baptist Church, Pastor Paul's Mission, and Northpoint Health and Wellness (formerly Pilot City). Each of these food shelves receives products from Second Harvest, a national non-profit food shelve. The food items mainly come from the un- marketable supplies of corporate food manufacturers and government surplus programs. These agencies serve thousands of North Minneapolis residents every year. the last four years the demand for food shelves in all of Minneapolis, including the north side where we have many member agencies has gone says Cindy Kimmel, Director of Agency Relations of Minneapolis Second Harvest. [...]
[...] They write: route in North Minneapolis is essentially a grid pattern, but the grid is not complete and has several gaps. In particular, there are two services on Penn (Route 5 north of 26th Avenue and Route 19 south of Golden Valley Road) which do not connect and do not allow access to some important east-west services, including Broadway. Similarly, service along Golden Valley Road operates only as far as Penn and does not connect to other north-south services or the important commercial district along Broadway Even though service levels are quite good overall in North Minneapolis, some branches have poor or no service during low demand times Also the Lowry route and corridor has no service evenings or weekends. [...]
[...] The North side Food Project, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, a north side dentist named John Williams, and local community groups has initiated a project tentatively called the “Jerry's Co-Op Development Initiative.” Their goal is to turn the sight of this tragedy into a model for community empowerment in North Minneapolis. The site will also host a flower distributor, the profits of which will be used to subsidize the selling of organic foods at lower prices (Collins). [...]
[...] They concluded that the factors involved in determining the location of a retail food store worked against the development of stores in locations where there are large numbers of people without access to vehicles, greater numbers of people living in poverty, and greater numbers of people of color, and where population health outcomes are poorer than those in other parts of Hennepin County Study of Retail Food Store Locations and Nutrition in Hennepin County 2002). The neighborhoods of North Minneapolis have lost a larger proportion of grocery stores to disinvestment than any other community in the Minneapolis metro area. [...]
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