The explosion in childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and other nutrition-related health problems has shone a light on food deserts and the public and private sectors are beginning to mobilize in response. Private foundations are helping local non-profits attract full-service supermarkets to low-income neighborhoods.
The USDA Community Food Project grant program funds innovative solutions. Arlin Wasserman, Sodexo’s Vice President, Corporate Responsibility sees a role for Sodexo in tackling the food desert problem. “Sodexo is already a leader in fighting hunger through Feeding Our Future, the Community Kitchen program, and other STOP Hunger efforts,” said Wasserman. “We strongly believe that the food industry has a responsibility to address the issue of food deserts. Sodexo has taken a leadership role through our programs like Sodexo’s Feeding Our Future, which operates in 20 cities across America; as well as our support of the Community Kitchen program and The Campus Kitchens Project. We hope that our example will encourage other food companies to return to these communities and provide fresh and nutritious food to underserved urban consumers.”