Community advocates in Albany are working to fill the gap in food deserts in the city. The term food desert may not be well known to some people, but if you are living in a poor neighborhood in the city you probably know exactly what I’m talking about, even if you don’t recognize the term.

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A food desert has been described as a geographical area where access to affordable, healthy food options, like fruits and vegetables, is limited or nonexistent because grocery stores are too far away.

According to US News, Corner stores with junk food and expensive processed food are basically on every corner in the city. Some residents have to travel miles to have access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, so they are forced to settle for whatever they can get their hands on.

Community advocates are stepping up to fill the void where healthy food options are not available. Jammela Anderson is an advocate who is trying to make a difference. Ms. Anderson started the Free Food Fridge Albany last summer. The organization basically stocks refrigerators that sit on the streets to allow residents access to healthy food.

Ms. Anderson recently said, “Food insecurity is so bad in some of the more marginalized communities that we have to literally put a refrigerator outside on the street.” Ms. Anderson said that this is not a solution to the problem, but merely a “Band-Aid”.

Yvette Jordan, a South End resident says that she has to take a bus trip to the suburbs to get fresh meat for her family. She says that she travels all the way to Glenmont to buy her groceries.

Hopefully, more grocery stores will move to the area to provide more nutritious foods for people who really need it.

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