Combatting Food Deserts in Our Region

by / Thursday, 27 July 2017 / Published in Community Health
Combatting food deserts in Philadelphia

Vetri Community Partnership’s Mobile Teaching Kitchen is one IBC Foundation partner that works to reduce the number of food deserts in our region.

When you go food shopping, you most likely have a wide range of options to choose from. Not only in which retailer you choose — organic grocery store, famer’s market, local grocery chain — but also in the kinds of food you select to take home — fresh, in-season tomatoes; locally grown kale; organic strawberries.

Now imagine if you went to the only grocery store near your house and the majority of the food options were in boxes or cans. There were only a handful of produce options, and the majority of them looked unripe or out of season. Unfortunately, this is the reality that many people who live in food deserts face on a daily basis.

Food deserts — defined as a community or neighborhood with limited access to affordable, nutrient-dense food options — are an unfortunate reality in our region, affecting both city neighborhoods and pockets of rural and suburban areas. Furthermore, the negative effects of food deserts on a person’s health are nearly endless, ranging from higher rates of obesity to chronic diseases.1

IBC Foundation Partners to Address Food Insecurity

In an effort to reduce the number of food deserts in our region, the IBC Foundation (Foundation) Building Healthier Communities grant program partners with local organizations to support projects that focus on the health needs of underserved populations and specifically address nutrition and food insecurity. Some of our partners include:

Good Samaritan Shelter’s Nourish Mobile Market

Nourish is a mobile food market, offering local, healthy, and fresh food for sale to those struggling with food insecurity or with limited transportation in Chester County and the surrounding communities. In addition, Nourish is a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for individuals residing in local shelters.

Share Food Program’s Package Program

Share Food Program works to build healthier, stronger communities through volunteerism and access to wholesome foods. Its Nice Roots Farm provides local, affordable, and nutrient-rich produce for families in neighborhoods where low-price produce is not readily available, and Share’s “Package Program” expands access to healthy and affordable food, through below-retail food packages.

Vetri Community Partnership’s Mobile Teaching Kitchen

Vetri Community Partnership programs promote healthy habits and emphasize the importance of nutritious food. Having recently launched its Mobile Teaching Kitchen, Vetri Community Partnership now brings a culinary teaching experience to schools, farmer’s markets, and other community events to provide community members with free, hands-on cooking demonstrations using healthy and fresh, seasonal ingredients.

 

Claire Trindle
Claire joined Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) as a program specialist in 2016 and manages the Addressing Health Priorities initiative, one of the four grant programs which operate out of the Foundation. Her prior work experience includes being a program coordinator for a federally funded grant program based around reducing substance abuse amongst South Philadelphia youth. This preceding position provided Claire with experience in logic model design, community stakeholder engagement, and program development. Claire’s familiarity of having the perspective of a federally grantee provided an advantage in her new role as a grant administrator with the Foundation. Claire also has experience in community health education and clinical health research. Claire has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Temple University. She is an active volunteer at Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society as well as a member of American Public Health Association, Amnesty International USA, Philabundance, and numerous Temple University Alumni Association groups.

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