In the last two weeks I have learned so much about food insecurity in general, but even more about how prevalent it is within Detroit communities. People have associated Detroit with being a food desert because of the lack of access to healthy places to purchase food, but in reality it’s better defined as an opportunity desert because of this. It’s not like Detroit doesn’t have the resources to provide healthy food, it’s just a hassle getting to these places. Another barrier is financial because healthier foods are often more expensive than the unhealthy alternative. There are many factors that contribute to food insecurity and I’m excited to learn more about them this summer.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on food security in at-risk populations so the research being done this summer is needed now more than ever. The pandemic has exposed the cracks in the food system in not only Detroit but the whole world. When the pandemic first came into existence people went into panic buy mode which created a lot of wastage of fresh produce, but more importantly, left shelves empty so when the people who couldn’t afford to make it to the store to buy food the only things that were left, if any, were the expensive items. COVID-19 just created so many chain reactions within the food system since every part relies on another. Research is revealing that there is more food than we need but getting the food to communities safely is where the issues lie. There have been many efforts and programs enlisted within Detroit to combat food insecurity, so I’m hopeful that it will get better as time goes on.