Leveraging informal community food systems to address food security during COVID-19
Keywords:Community Food Systems, COVID-19, Pandemic, Food Insecurity, Informal Community Food Systems
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has dramatically reshaped the U.S. food system and how people interact with it—more specifically, how people interact with their community food environment. The food environment is the distribution of food sources within a community, including the number, type, location, and accessibility of retail food outlets (Glanz, Sallis, Saelens, & Frank, 2005). Systemic injustices shape our food system and lead to a lack of access to healthier food and beverages for low-income and communities of color (Baker, Schootman, Barnidge, & Kelly, 2006; Bower, Thorpe, Rohde, & Gaskin, 2014). These neighborhood disparities have concrete effects on health, including increasing people’s risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (Franco, Diez Roux, Glass, Caballero, & Brancati, 2008; Richardson, Boone-Heinonen, Popkin, & Gordon-Larsen, 2012). COVID-19 exacerbates these long-standing disparities, disproportionately affecting low-income people and communities of color. Brutal structural inequalities have resulted in Black and Latinx Americans being 2.7 and 3.1, respectively, times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 (Moore et al., 2020). . . .
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