Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a food desert?
- What are low income areas?
- What are low access areas?
- What is Cal Fresh?
- What is food insecurity?
- I live in a food desert. What can I do?
- I don’t live in a food desert, but am interested in helping. What can I do to help?
- What is a food oasis?
- What are some ideas for transforming a food desert into a food oasis?
- How can policy makers help address/eliminate food deserts?
- What will happen if food deserts are not eliminated?
- What is not in the map?
- How can I support this project?
What is a food desert?
A low-income, low-access area with people living more than 1 mile (10 miles in rural areas) from the nearest supermarket.
What are low income areas?
Areas with either a poverty rate of 20 percent or more, or a median family income less than 80 percent of the State-wide median family income; or a tract in a metropolitan area with a median family income less than 80 percent of the surrounding metropolitan area median family income. [source]
What are low access areas?
A low-income tract with at least 500 people or 33 percent of the population living more than 1 mile (urban areas) or more than 10 miles (rural areas) from the nearest supermarket, supercenter, or large grocery store. [source]
What is Cal Fresh?
CalFresh, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to your food budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores.
What is food insecurity?
Access to nutritionally adequate food is limited or uncertain. [source]
I live in a Food Desert. What can I do?
- Reach out to your elected representatives and ask, “What is your vision and plan for ensuring food equity for all residents?”
- Take advantage of healthy food sources such as farmers markets, food pantries and community gardens (that share yield).
- Grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Share your garden harvest with your neighbors or help your neighbors grow their own food
- Work with local religious groups to advocate for healthy food equity
- Encourage your local convenience store operator to add fresh produce options
- Purchase frozen produce if fresh is not available
- Search the internet for healthy recipe ideas
I don’t live in a food desert, but am interested in helping. What can I do to help?
- Help someone in a food desert grow food
- Volunteer at a community garden that shares its yield with the community
- Volunteer at a food pantry
- Support organizations working to eliminate food equity injustice
- Help map edibles on public lands
- Contact your elected representatives and advocate for food access equity
What is a food oasis?
A Food Oasis is an area where healthy food options are plentiful and readily available for all.
What are some ideas for transforming a food desert into a food oasis?
- Engage community, government officials, public policy groups, academic stakeholders, and other civic investors to develop a strategy and implementation plan for transformation
- Develop an education campaign encouraging residents to prepare healthy meals at home
- Start an education campaign encouraging residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables
- Encourage government leaders to sponsor challenges reinforcing healthy lifestyle choices
- Partner with neighborhood schools to establish new, or support existing, healthy eating campaigns
How can policy makers help address/eliminate food deserts?
One of the stated goals of the City of Los Angeles’ Sustainability Plan is to “Ensure all low-income Angelenos live within a half mile of fresh food by 2035.” [source] How do we make this happen?
What will happen if food deserts are not eliminated?
What is not in the map?
See our Resources page for additional information.
How can I support this project?
We’re a volunteer-based project and would love your donation!
On the donation page, please choose Los Angeles Brigade and make it in honor of Food Oasis LA with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org