In my last posting, I referred to parts of America that have been described as “food deserts,” meaning that residents living in those areas do not have access to supermarkets or other food stores or restaurants from which they can purchase affordable healthy food. One of my Pitney Bowes colleagues referred me to a satirical YouTube posting called The Bronx Bodega, which powerfully illustrates what I have noted in a few postings: in many poorer communities with less healthy people, not only is healthy food unavailable at affordable prices, if it is available at all, but the unhealthy food is exceptionally inexpensive and attractively packaged.
But I have learned that the absence of healthy food is just one form of deprivation for low-income communities. They lack four other prerequisites for healthy living:
- Safe outdoor play areas, like parks, to get exercise;
- Primary care clinics for treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, preventive screenings, and immunizations, as well as referral to medical specialists;
- Pharmacies; and
- Information sources. (more…)