Last week, Camp Food Fight students were grilled by panelists at Double J Ranch in Montara about their best ideas to increase access to healthy food.
Prior to their presentations, the fourth- through eighth-graders learned an alarming fact: About 23.5 million Americans live in a “food desert” where they can’t readily get fresh food. That means more than 7 percent of the population lives more than a mile from a grocery store in most communities, or more than 10 miles from one in rural environments.
After a week of gardening, cooking and learning about the business of sustainable food, they had taken a close look at the issue in a session called “Food Desert or Dessert.”
“They’re going to start seeing the problems in the world,” Healthy Planet US Program Coordinator Ali Marrocco said. “We’re giving them the tools to start doing things and be change-makers.”
One group of campers, Team Squad, proposed the “Turnip Truck.” It would be a mobile grocery store that would travel from place to place so people wouldn’t have to go so far for food.
Team Ya Know tackled food access by suggesting improving education and convenience.
Members suggested creating a holistic food destination that included a garden, a mini grocery store, a restaurant with an open kitchen in which people could learn what different dishes are supposed to taste like and how to prepare them, as well as a “play place” for children to hang out at while their parents shopped for food. They also wanted to entice consumers with familiar flavors.
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