WHEREAS, food deserts are geographic areas where access to affordable, healthy whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is limited and sometimes nonexistent, including many low-income communities and communities of color; and
WHEREAS, 23.5 million people in the United States live in food deserts and nearly half of those food deserts are in low-income areas which makes eating healthy harder for residents of those communities; and
WHEREAS, 2.3 million people (2.2% of all US households) live in low-income and rural areas that are more than 10 miles from a supermarket. Across the country, low-income zip codes have 25% fewer supermarkets and 30% more convenience stores than middle-income zip codes; and
WHEREAS, while food deserts are scattered across the United States and no region of the country lacks food deserts, it is clear that the South has more food deserts than the rest of the country. Urban food deserts also exist in highly populated places such as New Orleans, Chicago and Atlanta; and
WHEREAS, because of the lack of supermarkets with inexpensive, whole foods, residents in food deserts are left with two unfortunate options, small costly convenience stores and fast food places, neither of which provide healthy food; and
WHEREAS, the availability of so many high calorie, high fat foods puts food desert residents at a much greater risk for diabetes and other lifestyle and environmentally caused conditions.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NAACP units will encourage convenience stores to provide affordable fresh produce in their stores; encourage and support community garden initiatives in urban and rural areas; and support mobile markets and produce trucks that come into many underserved areas; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP partner with food providers to develop community education programs in and near food deserts, such partners to include but not be limited to big and small box stores, and entrepreneurial food providers; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NAACP units will work diligently to educate the community on the benefits of eating healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables in order to decrease the illnesses that plague African-American and rural communities, such as diabetes and other lifestyle and environmentally-caused conditions.