Ogden home to 10 food desserts, new board is forming to tackle the problem

OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) In 2019, the Center for Disease Control awarded a grant to United Way of Northern Utah and the Ogden Civil Action Network to assess different needs in Weber County. It took about two years to complete.

One of the biggest findings of the assessment was that 11 food deserts exist across the county. Of those 11, 10 are in Ogden City. Now the organizations are forming the Ogden Food Policy Council, which will be made up of 15 community members to find solutions.

One might ask: “What is a food desert?” ”

The president and CEO of United Way of Northern Utah answered this question in an interview with ABC4. “Basically it’s a geographic area where people don’t live close to access to affordable, healthy and culturally relevant food.”

He explained that this does not mean that people living in this region do not have access to food. He said that the term “food swamp” is often used in place of “food desert”. This is because in these areas it is often possible to access convenient and unhealthy foods instead of healthy foods.

Jackson explained that Ogden’s 10 food deserts affect thousands of families. Often, the families most affected are those living along the poverty line. Not having access to food, he said, is often linked to many other issues that people living near the poverty line face. Lack of access to healthy, affordable food can also magnify other problems in a community.

“Over the past 10 years, the cost of food in Weber County has increased by almost 25%, but family budgets for food have decreased by 3%,” said Alyson Williams, United Way network host. from northern Utah, Alyson Williams. Rising food prices are putting additional stress on families struggling to make ends meet.

“If your food budget is taking up too much of your budget, there’s an opportunity cost,” Jackson said. “So what can’t parents pay because of this?” How hard is it, you know, to pay the rent at the end of the month?

To help address this community-wide problem, Alyson Williams is leading the creation of the Ogden Food Policy Council, which will be made up of 15 members of the Ogden community. These members will be from all walks of life. They will be made up of food producers, consumers and any intermediary.

“Just because someone isn’t a restaurant professional doesn’t mean their lived experience isn’t valuable to the board,” added Williams.

Williams told ABC4 that there are almost 300 similar councils in the United States. She said there are two other food tips here in Utah. One is managed at the state level and the other in Salt Lake City and is a municipal program. Ogden’s board, she said, will be the only one in the state run by a nonprofit rather than a government entity.

Williams said there are a lot of things the board will do and oversee. However, she divided the goal into three distinct parts: creating a strong food economy in Ogden, reducing food waste and finding new ways to use food, and improving access to healthy food (this will be done by several ways, such as finding ways to get healthier food in convenience stores, bringing grocers to new areas, and helping those who qualify for food security assistance register).

“There have been a lot of efforts to try to fix this problem, but (they) have been unsuccessful,” Jackson said. “We believe that with this truly coordinated effort bringing together people from all parts of the food system, we can overcome this obstacle together. ”

United Way of Northern Utah is accepting nominations to fill the 15 seats on the Food Policy Council. The application process will close on November 30. The board will hold its first meeting in January. To apply, click here.

Source link

About Wilhelmina Go

Check Also

Elon Musk and Tesla’s quiet success with a cobalt-free EV battery

Four years ago, Elon Musk said his Tesla vehicles were going to have cobalt-free batteries. …