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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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food desert

As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger

“Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. But in the last three years its economy has collapsed. Hunger has gripped the nation for years. Now, it’s killing children. The Venezuelan government knows, but won’t admit it. Doctors are seeing record numbers of children with severe malnutrition. Before Venezuela’s economy started spiraling, doctors say, almost all of the child malnutrition cases they saw in public hospitals stemmed from neglect or abuse by parents. But as the economic crisis began to intensify in 2015 and 2016, the number of cases of severe malnutrition at the nation’s leading pediatric health center in the capital more than tripled, doctors say. 2017 was even worse.”

 

Tagsmortality, medical, developmentfood, poverty, Venezuela, South America.

Source: www.nytimes.com

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Battle Cry for the Bodega

Why the chainification of the corner store is a bigger deal than losing book stores and record stores combined.

 

The term Bodega originally referred to a neighborhood grocery in a mostly Spanish-speaking part of town, it has come to be used (in my experience) to cover just about any independently owned small grocer in the city. The fear is that the corporate behemoth (7-Eleven) will destroy the neighborhood bodega, a New York institution of long standing. The quintessential bodega is a beloved part of the fabric of the city.  The outcry has been loudest in the East Village, a neighborhood that despite gentrification still prides itself on its countercultural attitude and grimy authenticity.

Source: www.citylab.com

When we discuss food deserts, we typically think about places that lack supermarkets.  In an urban context, the places that often fill this void are the bodegas.  In some major cities, these are going away as chains like 7-Eleven want to expand their reach and squeeze out these independent grocers. However you view this issue, “There’s no denying that the texture of the city would be flattened if the idiosyncratic bodega became an endangered species.”

 

Tags: food, urban, povertyplace, socioeconomic, food desert.

11 Facts About Food Deserts

“Food insecurity has a high correlation with increased diabetes rates. In Chicago, the death rate from diabetes in a food desert is twice that of areas with access to grocery stores.”

Source: www.dosomething.org

Food deserts are places where residents have limited access to healthy food.  Here is a great map from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture that shows low-income census tract that are more than one mile from supermarkets and rural areas that are more than 10 miles from the nearest supermarket.  Esri has also produced a food desert map that shows where unserved people (farther than 1 mile in urban/10 miles in rural) live in poverty.  For a household with a private automobile, distance to a supermarket isn’t that crucial an issue, but without an automobile, this lack of healthy food available becomes a significant challenge for residents that live in this neighborhood.  

 

Tags: food, urban, povertyplace, socioeconomic, food desert.

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