Editorials

FW food deserts could get some rain soon

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

A customer leaves the Veggie Mobile after buying produce in Albany, N.Y., Friday, May 9, 2008. With the rapidly climbing cost of food and fuel, states and nonprofit groups are finding ways to get healthy food to underserved areas.
A customer leaves the Veggie Mobile after buying produce in Albany, N.Y., Friday, May 9, 2008. With the rapidly climbing cost of food and fuel, states and nonprofit groups are finding ways to get healthy food to underserved areas. AP

The city of Fort Worth is trying to bring some much-needed rain to its food deserts.

A food desert exists when a neighborhood or area doesn’t have access to fresh produce or healthier options.

Most food deserts have only convenience stores within walking distance and the nearest grocery store is miles away.

Areas without grocery stores are usually impoverished. So not only is there not access to healthier food options, the residents of the area usually can’t afford to drive to a neighboring area and foot the cost for fresh cuts of meat, fruits or veggies.

And this isn’t a strictly urban problem; rural and suburban areas sometimes become food deserts.

Currently, 11 food deserts exist in Tarrant County, seven in Fort Worth alone.

City staffers, along with nutrition education groups, are trying to amend ordinances to allow vendors and pushcarts to sell fresh market items in residential areas.

If all goes according to plan, vendors could be able to set up a pop-up produce market or have an operation similar to an ice cream truck.

The amendment will be presented to neighborhood associations for input before being considered by the Zoning Commission and City Council.

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