Food Deserts Are Food Apartheid

Even before the advent of COVID-19, food insecurity had been a challenge for the 23 million Americans living within “food deserts”. Unfortunately for the now growing population, the pandemic exacerbate the problem.

The common yet incorrect term, “food deserts” has been used to describe low-income, predominately Black and Brown communities that have challenges and barriers to accessing healthy, affordable grocery store food. In most of these communities there is limited access to grocery stores or there are no grocery stores at all.

A more accurate description of these areas would be “food apartheid” communities. “Food desert” doesn’t speak to the root causes for the barriers to accessing healthy food that people within these communities face. These oppressed food access communities were designed and created on the premise of White supremacy and are a direct result of that. They manifested due to systemic disinvestment, racially discriminatory policies, predatory lending practices, systematic racism and oppression in the form of zoning codes and Redlining. “Food desert” doesn’t speak to the true nature of what these policies and practices created, but “food apartheid” does.

I mean to create solutions within these communities so I will follow the countless food justice leaders who are doing what they can to make positive changes by creating a “new concept” around the term “food desert”. You see when I hear “food desert” the images that come to mind are desolate, arid and lifeless. This is not the case for all “food desert” communities however.

Within these communities there individuals and organizations alike who are striving to make healthy food access a reality through grassroots efforts, business initiatives and systematic change…Pick Fresh Delivery is one of them.

The term “food desert” also doesn’t speak to the hard working community members, organizers, activists, food justice leaders, community garden members, local farmers and food accessibility business owners who are doing what they can to create access to healthy, fresh foods.   There is life in a “food desert” and there are people doing what they can to create new ways to maintain and increase it.

Pick Fresh Delivery service will be one of those services that is community and food accessibility focused.  We mean to change the way people eat in food deserts.


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