Various religious groups across the city have come together to put an end to hunger in Los Angeles. A food drive took place at Hollywood Forever this month, school children are choosing this campaign as their class project, entertainment people are joining in and volunteering at the various community food programs is being encouraged. The organizers point out that food banks and collections are mere band-aids on the situation. They have three major ways to end hunger in LA (check out their website at Fed Up With Hunger –below is one of the methods and the results of an assessment made on our side of town.
A community food assessment by Project CAFÉ that mapped 1273 food establishments in three low income neighborhoods in South and Central Los Angeles found that 29.6% were fast food restaurants, 21.6% were convenience/liquor stores and less than 2% were full service food markets. In Boyle Heights, there is one supermarket for the 90,000 residents of the neighborhood. Tragically, families in these neighborhoods have the highest rates of obesity, overweight and other diet related health problems; cheap foods may ease hunger pangs, but these foods also lead to chronic malnutrition, an emerging health crisis that impacts us all.
The Action: Ask your City Council member to make grocery stores, farmer’s markets and community gardens a high priority in all land-use planning, especially in central and east Los Angeles. Visit the City of Los Angeles’ website and find your Council member in the “My Neighborhood” box.