Food Access, Race, Policy, and Activism in Chicago and the

Report
Food Deserts, Food Sovereignty,
and Urban Food Security
Daniel Block
Chicago State University
Department of Geography
Neighborhood Assistance Center
Phone: (773)995-2310
E-mail: [email protected]
University of Chicago
Teacher Institute
June 27, 2012
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Food Deserts?
• The concept of a “Food Desert”, an area with
low access to quality groceries, has captured
the public interest in many cities, but what is it?
 Originally used by a resident of a public sector
housing project in the west of Scotland in the
early 1990s (Cummins, 1990).
 General Definition: Urban neighborhoods and
rural towns without ready access to fresh,
healthy, and affordable food.
 Large geographic area that has no or distant
mainstream grocery stores (Gallagher, 2006)
GSC
Nov. 1, 2011
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2010….The Healthy Food
Financing Initiative
• Feb. 19, 2010: President Obama
announces the Fresh Food
Financing Program---with a goal
of eliminating food deserts.
• More than $400 million
• Including:
– New Market Tax Credit and support
to Community Development
Financial Institutions for new
supermarket projects
– Loans and grants from USDA for
programs enhancing access through
connections to local producers.
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2011…Emmanuel—
Chicago—Food Desert focus
• Food Access one of 28 community
focus areas of new Mayor
Emmanuel’s transition plan
• Called the plan “a scorecard for the
first 100 days of the
administration”…pledged to:
– Organize a summit
– Seek out new partners and distribution
channels
– Work for zoning changes to promote
urban agriculture and aquaponics
– Create a plan for eliminating worst
food deserts on predominately
African-American South and West
sides
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Why Food Deserts?
Political Reasons
• An index can be created, so change (or
improvement) can be easily measured
(think scorecard) and the solution (a
new store) can be easily seen
• Opening a new store generally involves
government promotion of a community
development project through private
companies.
• Other solutions (gardens, etc.) might
involve partnerships with community
organizations---good politically
• Index can be used by neighborhood
organizations for soliciting funding
• Story can play really well
NYU
March 7, 2012
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Telling the Story….
• ‘‘Why is it that in some
communities consumers can buy
French fries but not fresh
potatoes?’’ US Rep. Bobby Rush
(IL), 2008
NYU
March 7, 2012
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• “A black baby in Chicago…is 2 1/2 times
more likely than the national average to die in
the first year…One reason so many babies in
Chicago die? The mothers are more likely to
be sick. (Wine-and-cheese bar on the left).
And one reason that the mothers are sick?
They don’t have access to fresh food.
(Probitoics on the right; bakery and sushi up
ahead)...No city will ever offer equality of
everything to everybody. But we live in a city
where multitudes pay $7.99 a pound at the
Whole Foods salad bar. It’s time to help the
other multitudes find a decent apple”
(Schmich, Chicago Tribune, May 22, 2009,
p.6).
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What do food deserts
communicate?
• More than just distance to the
nearest store.
• Both press and consumer
statements tend to tie food deserts
to general inequality, particularly
along racial lines.
• The idea of communities without
adequate food access
communicates difficulties in daily
living that could specifically affect
health.
• Many people experience and
understand differences by race and
class partially by looking at the retail
landscapes of their communities.
NYU
March 7, 2012
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Issues with Measuring
Food Deserts
• What kinds of stores count?
• What data do you use?
• What do you do about population
density?
• What analysis techniques do you
use?
– Container techniques
– Distance to nearest store
– More sophisticated techniques such
as spatial clustering models
• Problem: often an official push to
use one index
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Definitions in practice
vary greatly…
►
Gallagher, 2006: at least 33 percent of the tract's
population or a minimum of 500 people in the tract
must have low access to a supermarket or large grocery
store.
►
Block, 2008 (also used by the Chicago Metropolitan
Agency for Planning). Clusters of census tracts that
had a greater than expected distance to the nearest
chain or independent supermarket given their
population density and a median household income
below the region median, $52,170.
►
USDA/food desert map: Urban: tract greater than 1
mile to the nearest supermarket (usually chain) and
having a median household income less than 80% of
the regional median. Rural: Greater than 5 miles to the
nearest supermarket.
►
And many more…
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Shopping Behavior is Complex…an
Example from Chicago’s West Side
• Female African-American, Austin,
2004: “Every week I normally
shop at Tony's….I look in the sale
paper, and sometimes more than
once a week because if I see a
sale I go in a store just to pick up
those items, but I shop at Tony's,
Dominick's, Jewel.... Billy's
sometimes 'cause I go get some
vegetables sometimes…oh, and
Leamington's sometime.”
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The Northeast Illinois
Community Food Security
Assessment
• A base-line study of access to food in the six-county
Chicago metropolitan area
• A community based participatory research project,
community partners in all case study areas
• Assessment included the collection of data at 4 levels
– GIS Data on food access sites (supermarkets, fast food
restaurants, food pantries, farmers’ markets)—these
point maps define the regional “foodscape” (CSU)
– Market Basket studies in six communities-helps deepen
our understanding of the “foodscape” (UIC)
– Focus groups with consumers, retailers, service
providers in the same communities (UIC)
– Door-to-door food security surveys in three
communities (CSU)
--
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Analysis
• Utilized University of Chicago
Neighborhood Type Classification—
classified all census tracts in the Chicago
metropolitan area into ten types by
ethnicity, population density, family mix,
income
• Population standardized means calculated
by neighborhood type.
• Matrix created of mean distance to store
for all store types and neighborhood
types.
• A second matrix of an index which took
population density out as a factor.
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Results
• Impoverished African-American
neighborhoods are further than
predicted from all store types
except chain discount.
• Predominately Hispanic
communities are closer than
predicted to independent stores,
but further than predicted to
chain full-service stores
• Wealthy urban communities are
closer than predicted to all store
types but discount.
• Issue (for policy makers): not a
single index.
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June 27, 2012
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Qualitative Results: Race and
Food Access
• Female African-American
Consumer: “In the predominately
white neighborhood, I have went to
the produce, seen unusual
vegetables and fruits…near
(them)… they would have little
pamphlets, explaining, talking
about the nutrition of fruit, where it
comes from, what it’s supposed to
taste like, and how it should be
used. But I’ve never seen that in my
neighborhood.” (Austin consumer,
2004)
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• Female Voice: We just don't get proper
food. They give us the bottom of
everything.
• Male Voice: It's like that because, as I
said before, the stores in the Black
community get worse food than the
White community…
• Male Voice: They care about what they
give them at those stores in the suburbs,
but here they don't care. They think, "Oh,
well. Give them whatever and they'll take
it."
• Female Voice: Yeah, that's it. "Give them
whatever." They get greedy (Englewood,
Community Member Group Interview,
2006).
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Current Outcomes of
Emmanuel’s Initiatives
• Walgreen’s announces the opening
of “expanded food section” in 19
stores, in addition to 10 already
completed, also purchase from local
farmers (through Growing Power) .
• Also, 9 new Save-A-Lot stores, 1
new Aldi, 2 Wal-Marts, and 2 new
Mariano’s (an upscale full-service
chain—1 as of yet unannounced
“food desert” location)
• Also urban agriculture zoning act
passed (urban ag. Is now a legal
land use)
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But…
• Expanded Walgreen’s are not meant
to be Full Service Supermarkets…or
discount supermarkets
• Save-A-Lot stores, also opening in
many “food desert” locations, are
not full service…and in areas where
discount chains (Aldi’s) are already
present
• Mariano’s are upscale stores …it
remains unclear where the “food
desert Mariano’s” will open.
• Only one new Wal-Mart is in a “food
desert”
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Mapping and
Oversimplification
• Maps often reveal inequality but
the stories they tell can be
somewhat simplistic
• The policy goal should not
generally be just to “fill in the
holes” on the map
• The solutions need to include
more general community
development goals, oriented
around, but not only including,
food projects.
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June 27, 2012
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Race, Food Sovereignty,
and Food Justice
• The idea of “sovereignty”-control over
local land use and food policy, resonates
with control of local land resources, land
use planning, and food access issues in
US urban areas
• Food access patterns and responses
highlight connections between race,
class, and the global food system that
lead to patterns of inequality
• Food justice demands we respect
cultural and economic needs, including
access to a variety of alternative and
mainstream food sources
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Institute
June 27, 2012
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Food, Racism and Power
Imbalances
“food and agriculture lends itself to
addressing [racism and power
imbalances] because food is so
central to communities and, if you
had working communities, you’d
have justice and equality…. Food
security cannot be divorced from
the issues of concern to
communities.”
Daniel, Executive Director of Nuestras Raices, Holyoke,
MA. Quoted in Slocum, Rachel, (2008). Anti-Racist Practice and the
Work of Community Food Organizations” Antipode 38: 327-349.
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Community Food Projects in
Chicago
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Acknowledgements
Thanks to the Searle Funds of the Chicago
Community Trust, Communities Putting
Prevention to Work, and the Public Health
Institute of Chicago for allowing us to do this
work!
Thank you to my co-PI’s at the University of
Illinois at Chicago and CSU: Noel Chávez,
Angela Odoms-Young, Shannon Zenk, and
Judy Birgen.
Thank you to my many student workers,
including John Bisegerwa, Kristin Bowen,
Brent Lowe, John Owens, and Noah Sager.
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