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Thread: Those 'Food Deserts' May Become Food Wastelands

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    Those 'Food Deserts' May Become Food Wastelands

    September 1, 2020

    Those 'Food Deserts' May Become Food Wastelands
    by Merrill Matthews | Publications | PolicyBytes


    For years those of us involved in welfare and entitlement policy have heard about “food deserts.” Sadly, the riots, arson, looting and destruction that has taken place in so many large cities may be turning what were food deserts into food wastelands.

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a food desert as “areas where people have limited access to a variety of healthy and affordable food.” The USDA’s Economic Research Service has “identified approximately 6,500 food desert tracts in the United States.”

    There are different ways of determining a food desert. One USDA approach cites, “Low-income census tracts where a significant number (at least 500 people) or share (at least 33 percent) of the population is greater than 1.0 mile from the nearest supermarket, supercenter, or large grocery store for an urban area or greater than 20 miles for a rural area.”

    One mile may not be an insurmountable obstacle if you have a car, but it can be for low-income and inner-city families.

    Elected officials and low-income advocates have been encouraging more grocery stores to locate in the food deserts to provide residents with at least one healthy alternative.

    Unfortunately, the riots we are seeing in many cities are likely to bring those efforts to a halt—for years.

    Would grocery store owners want to invest money in a building and stocking the shelves—or rebuilding and restocking the shelves—if there is a decent chance the store will be looted and burned?

    Especially when some of the riot supporters have come to see looting as a feature rather than a bug.

    There is, for example, Vicki Osterweil’s new book, “In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action,” where she explains, “Looting represents a material way that riots and protests help the community.”

    And she explains that looting provides "a way for people to solve some of the immediate problems of poverty and by creating a space for people to freely reproduce their lives rather than doing so through wage labor.”

    She’s not alone in those sentiments. Chicago Black Lives Matter organizer Ariel Atkins recently explained BLM’s views on riots to the Chicago news outlets, “I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats.”

    Of course, to ensure a person eats, food has to be available. It’s really tough to buy (or steal) the food you need if grocery stores refuse to rebuild—turning those food deserts into food wastelands.
    IPI
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    People have cars. Even the poorest.
    One mile can be walked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    People have cars. Even the poorest.
    One mile can be walked.
    Well, people don't always have cars. I lived without one for 3 years because we just couldn't pay the insurance and gas at that time because we were paying for other unexpected problems. We took the bus and walked.

    I can't tell you how much "fun" it was to take 2 buses home and then bundle up and drag a grocery cart all the way to the store after dark in 3 inches of snow. We laughed and laughed about it.

    Someone who is elderly or disabled or who is recovering from some malady can't 'just walk' a mile and back hauling groceries. What about all the women with little kids? I didn't have to wrangle 2 or 3 kids while I dragged that cart. I was lucky.

    While the food desert thing has been over-hyped incredibly, the food wasteland idea could become a very real thing. Who in their right mind would invest in building, staffing, and stocking a store that can be burned to the ground over some fevered news article or tweet at any moment in time?

    How then do those people affected buy goods? If you've ever used buses on a daily basis, you'd know how slow and uncomfortable they are. Some are just dangerous in some parts of town. Waiting for a bus after dark is dangerous in itself. Then you have walk for blocks and blocks carrying your stuff to get to your house. It isn't for the faint of heart.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  4. Thanks Celeste Chalfonte thanked for this post
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    Well, people don't always have cars.
    People have friends and relatives who have cars. The worst off might be the very elderly women. Plenty of social services for them too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    People have friends and relatives who have cars. The worst off might be the very elderly women. Plenty of social services for them too.
    Good thing you're so sure of that. I hope it keeps you warm when you're a lonely old woman nobody cares about.

    When I worked in social services, I got up one Sunday and drove an elderly, widowed client to Mass, totally against regulations, of course, but she was so sad she hadn't been able to get to Mass in over a year.
    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This offer VALID in 35 34 33 32 31 26 20 17 15 14 13 ALL 50 states.

    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    People have friends and relatives who have cars. The worst off might be the very elderly women. Plenty of social services for them too.
    Yes, be very sure of this assertion since you might need it yourself. Plenty of people in that predicament don't have friends or relatives with cars who can drop everything and show up several times a week for chauffeur service.

    I'm all for people helping themselves as much as humanly possible but life it what it is. If you are sick or old, it's less than that.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    When I worked in social services, I got up one Sunday and drove an elderly, widowed client to Mass, totally against regulations, of course, but she was so sad she hadn't been able to get to Mass in over a year.
    Bully. ONe instance of being kind to somebody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Yes, be very sure of this assertion since you might need it yourself. Plenty of people in that predicament don't have friends or relatives with cars who can drop everything and show up several times a week for chauffeur service.
    Yeah they do. Part of the poverty culture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    Bully. ONe instance of being kind to somebody.
    I can testify that at times dear Celeste does the Lord's work quietly. One summer she practically adopted a little one armed boy and his mother.
    “Kind hearts are more than coronets, and simple faith than Norman blood.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    Yeah they do. Part of the poverty culture.
    Having been below the poverty line myself I can say with authority that all those friends and relations with endlessly available cars weren't part of my culture. I had to walk and take the bus.

    That's okay if you are 21 but not so much if you are 83 with a bum hip and vision impairment.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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