- Students will define the term food desert and determine if their school is located in one.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- SMART Board or projector
- Internet access
- Google Maps
“You have been weighed. You have been measured. And you have absolutely been found wanting.”
This quote from A Knight’s Tale is a spin on a passage from the Book of Daniel but it perfectly describes the question of food security for more than 25 million Americans. The harsh reality is that too many communities are “vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods” as the USDA defines it.
So what about your community?
To determine if your school is in a food desert you must first evaluate your closest fresh food sources. Using Google Maps or a similar digital tool, determine the distance from your school to the closest supermarket or large grocery store. The USDA considers communities with a distance of more than 1 mile (for urban centers) or 10 miles (for rural areas) from the nearest supermarket or grocery store to be “low-access communities”.
If your school is in a “low-access community” we would call that a food desert. Now, take the evaluation a step further. Considering that most supermarkets and grocery stores are simply distribution hubs, determine just how close you are to a farm where fresh produce is actually grown. Where food is sold and where it is grown are often not one and the same.
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