Bringing good things to the people: Green Carts is an upstream initiative with the goal of bringing fresh produce to low-income neighbourhoods.
We all know that a healthy diet is a key ingredient to a healthy society. But many, especially those in low-income neighbourhoods, face significant barriers to eating healthy food. Read on about a project that seeks to reduce those barriers and bring good food to the people who need it most.
"Victor, from Mexico, and Ferreira, from the Dominican Republic, are two of more than 500 vendors who participate in New York’s Green Cart program, which puts fruit and vegetable carts on the streets in low-income areas with high rates of obesity and diet-related diseases. Though green carts are only one of several city strategies designed to encourage consumption of more-healthful food, there is early evidence it is working: In New York’s high-poverty neighborhoods, the percentage of adults who said they ate no fruits or vegetables during the previous day is slowly dropping, from 19 percent in 2004 to 15 percent in 2010."
"Nationally, much of the discussion about improving food access has centered on how to lure supermarkets back to urban areas. But New York’s Green Cart program has required significantly less time and investment than large and often controversial construction projects, says Karen Karp, president of Karp Resources, which provides education and training to green cart vendors."
"The time cost to gain access to healthy foods is as important as the financial cost,”
"The time cost to gain access to healthy foods is as important as the financial cost,” says Giridhar Mallya, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s director of policy and planning who is overseeing the Healthy Carts program. “So we’re looking at ways to serve people in places they are already coming or going. We think working with hospitals might be a way to scale the program and serve many folks of limited incomes.”
Read the entire article here: Jane Black, "Green Carts put fresh produce where the people are," The Washington Post, April 17, 2012.
Read more about NYC's Green Carts project here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/living/greencarts.shtml