Food Justice: What is it and how can we fix it

A look into what’s attributing to low food access in Southwest Virginia and what it takes to put an end to it

Taking a look at food disparities across local communities
Taking a look at food disparities across local communities

ROANOKE, Va. – Food access is a daily challenge for many people across Southwest Virginia.

For the past several years, Carolyn Williams has used Local Environmental Agriculture Project’s (LEAP) mobile market to get her groceries.

“Well number one, it’s fresh food, homegrown and then otherwise you’d have to go out to buy it and it’s heavy,” said Williams.

She uses a walker and lives in an area where convenience stores are much closer than grocery stores.

“You can catch the bus, we have a bus stop right here. You can ride the tail and come back up or you can go right up to where the crosswalk is and go over, but that’s dangerous. Sometimes cars don’t stop,” Williams said.

She is one of many in Southwest Virginia who lives in an identified food desert.

USDA defines a food desert through low access and low income. Low access is at least 33% of the population lives more than a mile (urban areas) or more than 10 miles (rural areas) from a supermarket, supercenter, or large grocery store.


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