Food Desert Research Papers

Decent Essays
Can you imagine not being able to access good quality, fresh food? That’s the struggle that the residents of Homewood, Pennsylvania, face every day. Homewood is a food desert, which is defined by google as “an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.” For our last project in my Urban Research and Design class this year, my teacher challenged us to turn our newfound knowledge into action, and attempt to apply what we’d learned to a real community problem.
My group of three flippantly chose the topic of food deserts, a topic that we knew nothing about, and drove into Homewood one morning in January to start our field research. We found the owner of a small grocery store- the only grocery store in Homewood- and began asking him questions about the needs of the community. Quickly it became clear that this man would be more than field research. We set to work, brainstorming ways to help this little grocery store that seemed so important to the community.
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“But I don’t need more produce. I need a walk-in cooler.” We trudged back to school, crestfallen. We were dejected that our perfect idea would never become a reality, and incredulous. Didn’t this store need help? Raising the $7,000 needed to purchase the cooler seemed impossible, but nonetheless we set to work, not optimistic that we would be able to raise such a large amount. We were only high schoolers, after all.
In the months following our disappointing meeting we did everything we could to raise the money. We set up a crowdfunding site, flooded our friends’ social media pages and reached out to distant relatives. We walked around with baskets of apples and oranges, pitching our project to anyone who would listen (and some who wouldn’t). We did radio interviews and wrote to local news stations and even set up a booth at our school festival, trying to get excited children to listen to our pitch about food deserts in exchange for a piece of
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