Online petition targets food deserts
October 9, 2010 | by G'town Saucer
Photo by D.C. GovernmentAn online petition is circulating in support of D.C. Council legislation to address "food deserts" in Washington -- legislation introduced by Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) this summer.
Wards 7 and 8, the two wards with the lowest average household incomes, have 16% of the District's grocery stores but 23% of the city's population, while Wards 2 (including Georgetown) and 3, the two with the highest average household incomes, have 44% of the city's grocery stores and 27% of the population.
So-called "food deserts" lacking grocery stores lead to high rates of overweight and obesity. Over half of District's residents are overweight or obese. In Ward 8, which is most plagued by food deserts, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is 71.5%.
"What is lacking...is a comprehensive, coordinated, effort – linking public, private, and federal resources – to improve access to healthy foods in our low-income communities. Therefore, I expect that we can support this program by reallocating resources within the District government," said Cheh.
See more information and the online petition here.