The scene is often the same: Fast-food joints dot every corner. Corner stores boast an abundance of “just add water” meals, junk food, alcoholic beverages and soda pop. With nary a piece of fruit or vegetable in sight, poor, urban areas like our own often lack viable food options.
If you don’t have access to a car and rely instead on public transportation, then you’re also bound by the resources that are right in front of you. Even if you want to go across town and visit the fancy grocery store that carries 18 different types of lettuce, you can’t, because you may be limited to the neighborhood you call home.
I mean, what would you do?
There’s certainly merit in leaning into the people, businesses and resources that are our immediate community, but for many of our Kensington neighbors, and for the 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the U.S. who experience food insecurity, people are limited by no choice of their own.
According to one writer, “food-insecure families report facing challenges purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables, including high costs relative to their household budgets. Lack of time and resources for meal preparation also contribute to food insecurity, along with racial segregation and poverty.”
Additionally, many of our friends are limited by policies that affect food availability and scarcity. Feeding America likewise reports that “low-income families are affected by multiple, overlapping issues like lack of affordable housing, social isolation, economic/social disadvantage resulting from structural racism, chronic or acute health problems, high medical costs, and low wages.”
As you well know by now, we are so grateful that we’re able to meet the immediate needs of our neighbors through our Food Choice Pantry. It’s also been nothing short of a delight to begin to grow our own fruits and vegetables, all of which will go directly back to the Kensington neighborhood.
Even if we live in what many call a food desert, no longer will our neighbors have to drive across town for access to the fresh fruits and vegetables they deserve: instead they’ll be able to get these items when they schedule a 15-minute shopping trip inside The Simple Way store.
If you’d like to further support our gardening efforts (and, ultimately, our neighbors in Kensington), would you consider fulfilling an item from the Garden Wish List?
Together, we can do small things with great joy!