To democratize something is to make it accessible to everyone. Quality, nutritious, affordable food should be available to everyone…but it’s not. Access is the root of our mission, and this is why Better Chew exists.
In 2020, almost 1 in 4 households experienced food insecurity or reduced food intake due to lack of money or other resources. Commonly, families lacking these resources live in places designated as food deserts. The definition of “food desert” varies based on an urban or rural setting – in urban areas, a food desert is a residential area that’s more than 1 mile away from a supermarket, whereas in rural areas, people in a food desert live more than 10 miles from the nearest grocery store – but in either case, food is not geographically or economically accessible.
Groceries sold in food desserts can also cost significantly more, with simple staples like milk in some food deserts costing about 5% more than average, and some cereal costing as much as 25% more!
Low-income communities of color often disproportionately feel the burden, and amongst low-income neighborhoods, those with a higher African American population are, on average, 1.1 miles further from the nearest supermarket than White low-income neighborhoods.
This disparity has led to those living in food deserts being 55% less likely to have a good quality diet than people living in areas with more healthy food access. With 4 of the leading 10 causes of death in the United States being diet-related diseases, ailments like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, which affect members of the African American community the most, have led to the highest mortality rate of any demographic.
This has to change.