A few years ago I remember going to a rich neighborhood in Long Island NY for a friend’s rich friend birthday party. Since we got there earlier than expected his friend asked us to come to the supermarket with him to buy some food and drinks for the party. I remembered being shocked about the variety of food and of its high quality products. Organic? I never thought about that when I went shopping with my mother at our local supermarket in Brooklyn. There was no organic food section to buy from. Moreover, I not only realize we don’t only not have the same quality of products available, but that poorer neighborhoods lack supermarkets to shop from. According to a study by Center for Food and Justices
Studies have documented the disparity in the number of supermarkets in poor communities of color, compared to wealthier, whiter communities…” Furthermore, “middle- and upper-income communities in Los Angeles County have twice as many supermarkets per capita as low-income communities; the same study found that predominantly white communities have three times the supermarkets of predominantly black communities, and nearly twice those of predominantly Latino communities.
During my first year of college had to do a food project for a Critical Thinking class and I remember of a classmate who lived in the projects in the Bronx who told the professor a similar story about mine. She said “I feel at a disadvantaged for not being able to find all those healthy foods I found on my food research project” So I decided to mention this now since I still see a huge difference in access to different quality of foods when I shop for instance, in the city compared to the local grocery store in my neighborhood. But what is the meaning before good taste or quality? What is the issue? In fact, some studies confirm my observations by stating that:
‘Low-income and minority communities are by far the hardest hit as obesity and diet related Disease rates skyrocket across America.1 Health disparities among US population groups are related to inequalities In socioeconomic status…”
Moreover, their statistics show that:
■ Latino adults (43%) are the most likely to travel outside of their neighborhoods to a supermarket followed by Black (39%), Asian (30%), and White (24%) adults.
■ there is a 50% greater need among poor adults to travel to a grocery store than among the non-poor; nearly half of poor adults (44%) travel outside of their neighborhood to a grocery store, compared to 30% of the non-poor.
In conclusion, it is very conspicuous not only to see the big differences in services and products among the different social classes in every department. Whether it is food, clothing, pharmacies, etc. Of course the problem does not start with quality food access to poor neighborhoods. The problem starts with an income disadvantage and from there every product or service is a disadvantaged to the poorer communities. So even if there’s a family who receives food stamps from the government and is able to always buy food, that family does not have much of an option to choose from, but to buy what is available in their neighborhood. Thus, I realize the problem is not a food problem, but a root social problem. The huge gap between rich and poor of a “rich” country among different ethnicities.