In Austin, people living in Districts 1, 2, and 4 have the least amount of access to fresh, healthy and affordable retail food options. Edwin Marty, food policy manager for the city’s Office of Sustainability, presented these findings at the council’s Open Space, Environment and Sustainability Committee meeting last week. Marty said that these so-called “food deserts” disproportionately affect minority and low-income communities, and that it is often difficult to persuade large grocery stores to move into these areas.
Instead, Marty said that city staff are working on developing a community-based approach to expanding access to healthy food, leveraging local resources like urban farms and corner stores. They are currently working on a pilot program in the Rundberg area, designed to map out local food assets so it is easier for people to access fresh, healthy, and affordable food. You can learn more by watching the full video from last week’s committee meeting, or by reading this article from the Austin Monitor.