Tune into “Fighting for Healthy Foods: How Rhode Island is Stepping Up to the Plate”

The panel discusses the subject of food deserts and food insecurity, focusing on improving access to fresh produce in low-income areas.

This summer, I visited farmers markets and a mobile produce market in an effort to learn how low-income folks are using SNAP to access fresh produce. I met some wonderful families along the way who explained the daily struggle of putting healthy foods on their plates, based on where they live and financial constraints.

These families live in food deserts, low-income areas that don’t have access to a full-scale grocery store. Often times, because these families don’t have a car, they’ve had to find other ways to get to a grocery store, or they shop from corner stores that are walking distance from home, but often don’t stock the healthy, fresh foods found in larger stores. Luckily, Farm Fresh RI runs many farmers markets in these areas that offer SNAP incentives for fresh produce, and Food on the Move brings fresh produce into community centers, low-income and subsidized housing sites, libraries and schools through a mobile market, and it offers incentives as well.

Tune in or set your DVR for 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7 on Rhode Island PBS (Channel 36, or Channel 8 for Cox subscribers) for the next round of “Community Conversations: Fighting for Healthy Foods: How Rhode Island is Stepping Up to the Plate.” The panel — a partnership between Rhode Island Monthly and Rhode Island PBS, with support from the Rhode Island Foundation — was filmed in front of a live studio audience on November 30. It discusses the subject of food deserts and food insecurity, focusing on improving access to fresh produce in low-income areas.

Host Mario Hilario, from NBC 10, leads the conversation with community leaders in the local food community, including Sue AnderBois, Director of Food Strategy for the state of Rhode Island; myself, Jamie Coelho, associate editor at Rhode Island MonthlyJulius Kolawole, president of the African Alliance of Rhode IslandDr. Amy Nunn, executive director of the Rhode Island Public Health InstitutePhilip Trevvett co-chair of the Urban Green Co-op; and Thea Upham, program director for Farm Fresh Rhode Island.

The panel was based around the Rhode Island Monthly story, “Food Fighters: Rhode Island’s Battle Against Food Insecurity.”

Viewers will learn about food deserts, find out where they exist in Rhode Island, and contemplate solutions for improving access to fresh produce. The panel also includes a q-and-a with the live studio audience.

Tune in to “Fighting for Healthy Foods: How Rhode Island is Stepping Up to the Plate” on Thursday, December 7 at 8 p.m. The program will also be available for viewing on RIPBS.org.

 

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