Eating healthy foods, like fruit and vegetables, can be expensive. But for those that cannot afford to eat a healthy diet, the consequences, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can be just as expensive.
According to the USDA, in 2015 there were 12.7% or 15.8 million households facing food insecurity in the US. This amounts to nearly 20 million adults and 6.5 million children. These households had difficulty at some point in the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources.
Food insecurity, the limited or uncertain access to adequate food, can have a direct impact on your health. Eating low-cost foods, which are often highly filling yet not very nutritious, leads to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Many people experiencing food insecurity are then forced to make the difficult decision to buy food or pay for their medical expenses. This can make it much harder to manage and take care of one’s health.
Struggling to eat a healthy diet is not always just an issue of affordability. It can sometimes be difficult to find fresh fruits and vegetables because of the neighborhood or place where you live. Often times, too few stores or retail outlets located in low-income communities sell healthy and affordable foods and access to nutritious foods is hard to find. These places are called ‘food deserts’ or ‘food swamps’ because they are overloaded with places to buy unhealthy food.
EatSF believes that all people, in all neighborhoods, should be able to access and afford fruits and vegetables. And we are working hard to make that belief a reality.