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Youth fight for food justice
Detail: A new report on food deserts released by the US Department of Agriculture show areas in the United States where communities lack access to supermarkets and other outlets selling foods necessary for a healthy diet. According to the report, 2.3 million Americans live more than a mile from a supermarket and do not have access to a vehicle. The report goes on to say that the “urban core areas with limited food access are characterized by higher levels of racial segregation and greater income inequality.”

In recent years, there have been efforts by food justice activists around the country to bridge the food gap. One group in Chicago is taking back the food system online. The Umoja Student Development Corporation is a Chicago-based, youth development organization which runs a six-week summer program in partnership with youth media group Free Spirit to film a short documentary about food deserts in the predominately African American community of North Lawndale.

Through this program student interns not only learned how to grow organic foods in community gardens and polled residents about their food shopping habits, but they also kept a blog for the duration of the program about their own eating habits and the various social and environmental injustices that block access to food equity.
Date: August 9 2009