Report Focus: The Devastating Consequences of Unequal Food Access

 

Woman shopping at Daily Table - from RadioBoston articleA new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists, The Devastating Consequences of Unequal Food Access: The Role of Race and Income in Diabetes, calls on policymakers to develop public policies to ensure that healthy food is more available, accessible and affordable in low income and communities of color. The report highlights the fact that diabetes rates are soaring in low-income communities. African American, Latino and Native Americans have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes—nearly 16 percent of adults in the United States. Low income and communities of color are often prone to higher rates of chronic disease due to institutionalized racism and a lack of access to necessary resources.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing diabetes and other chronic disease, a key recommendation offered by the report is bringing more healthy food to the places where people of color and low-income people live and gather.  Report findings and recommendations reinforce the need to support innovative programs such as the Massachusetts Food Trust program, a top policy priority for MPHA, which can help to increase access to healthy food and jobs in low and moderate income communities. The findings also highlight the importance of affordability. Programs such as the federally-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are essential to ensure families can have the purchasing power to buy healthy foods.  Learn more about the Massachusetts Food Trust and SNAP Gap Campaigns and get involved today.

To learn more about the Massachusetts Food Trust Program and to sign-up for action alerts, contact MPHA Coalition and Field Organizer Kristina St. Cyr at: kstcyr@mapublichealth.org.