From Food Desert to Full Cart

communications intern Full Cart, U.S. Hunger

Mary Jo, a valued recipient of a Full Cart box, shared how Full Cart has helped her and her family. Her story is one that is all too common. Living in a food desert has its challenges, burdens, and uncertainties; what most people don’t realize is how much of a privilege it can actually be to live near a grocery store.

“Our family was hit by an oncoming car and our car was totaled. We are without a way to go to the store because we have no transportation. It is too far to the store to walk and we live in a very rural area. Now with COVID-19, online stores are out of stock of things. Our food supply was running out and I feared we were going to starve. Bless you all for the service you provide.”
—Mary Jo, Virtual Food Bank Recipient

For many Americans, not being able to walk a couple of blocks or jump into a car to choose from quality food options nearby is a socio-economic issue that is an unfortunate reality. Access to a grocery store is just one of the many root causes of hunger that can affect one’s life. However, Feeding Children Everywhere seeks to provide an option for those living in food deserts by shipping food directly to someone’s front door. Our Full Cart program provides food to those who may not have another way of obtaining it.

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions that affect a person’s overall health status. Healthy People 2020 explains that “health starts in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities.” One determinant, neighborhood and environment, can have a significant impact on health, specifically when it comes to access to healthy and nutritious food. Areas throughout the U.S., where easy access to affordable and nutritious food is limited, in contrast with an area with higher access to supermarkets or vegetable shops with fresh foods, is a food desert. 

If someone struggles with economic stability, they often lack money or resources to also obtain healthy food. This directly impacts the environment in which they call home. Home is where the heart is and that is exactly where health lives. Difficulty in accessing foods that support healthy eating patterns is a reality for many people. Whether it is because someone lives in a food desert or is not economically stable, the inability to access healthy food can cause poor nutrition and an unhealthy diet. 

According to the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture, approximately 2.3 million people live more than one mile away from a supermarket and do not own a car. This population struggles to get proper nutrition due to the lack of nearby access to healthy and nutritious food as well as their lack of transportation. As America’s Virtual Food Bank, Full Cart serves people who may face food insecurity due to the neighborhood and environmental conditions. 

Many families living in situations similar to Mary Jo are in need of your help. By sponsoring a package of groceries for a family through our Full Cart program, healthy and delicious food is delivered directly to the doorsteps of families who need it most. If you would like to help those affected by food insecurity, you can donate here.

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