Chicago's underserved communities are often afflicted by two main food issues.
Food deserts - geographic areas with limited availability to fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthful foodsFood insecurity - the inability to purchase fresh and healthy food because of location, price, or availability
Adequate grocery stores and farmers markets are sparse in neighborhoods such as Austin, Englewood, and North Lawndale. Residents also aren't necessarily able to easily afford healthy and nutritious foods if a grocery store is nearby. Additionally, locals face another health challenge when their food options are limited to unhealthy fast food or low-quality convenience store items. Grocery stores are only part of the battle.
If fresh and healthy foods are available, residents won't purchase them if they're too expensive, unfamiliar or don't have the proper tools to cook. By definition, these communities are still food insecure.
Transforming Chicago's food landscape begins with food, diet and health education. Once neighborhoods have are more food literate citizens, people can demand healthier foods and take control of what they're eating.