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food desert

Picture of Jessica Cejnar
Highly rural, the communities outside of Crescent City in Northern California are food deserts. “I hear from staff all the time, these kids are hungry when they come to school,” one school administrator says.
Picture of Giles Bruce
This series was produced as a project for the University of Southern California Center for Health Journalism's National Fellowship. Other stories in the series include:  Fort Wayne, Ind. mom shares tragic story of losing baby In Indianapolis, a baby dies every 3 1/2 days
Picture of Monica Velez
In California’s Merced County, residents are more likely to be exposed to tobacco, suffer from poor air quality, or die of heart disease. At the same time, the region faces a long-running shortage of doctors.
Picture of Jeff Mitchell
In California’s Salinas Valley, the lack of living wages for farmworkers has resulted in ongoing cycles of poverty, violence and health problems.
Picture of Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton

With American Indians and Alaska Natives qualifying for federal nutrition assistance programs at higher rates, several tribes are trying to improve food access while providing an economic stimulus for their communities. That can mean new grocery stores, or lower taxes on produce.

Picture of Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton

“If you’re not able to provide food, it makes it difficult to feel like you’re living a dignified life,” researcher Darcy Freedman said. “It’s a basic need and the mental health implications are very real. ‘If I can’t provide food for my kids or partner, who am I?’”

Picture of Chelsea Willett

Thanks to reforms in how government food voucher programs can be used, low-income Americans can now access the bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables at thousands of farmer's markets around the country.

Picture of Leiloni  De Gruy

For people living with HIV or AIDS, nutrition is a key component of any treatment plan. But living in neighborhoods where healthy food options are few and far between can make it difficult to eat healthy.

Picture of Caitlin Buysse (Kandil)

Despite those unhealthy calories, some fast food restaurants offer something rare in urban communities -- a clean and convenient place to hang out.

Picture of Caitlin Buysse (Kandil)

Healthy food is in short supply in communities of color

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