Local ‘food swamps’ threaten public health

September 13, 2018 08:23 AM

You may have heard of a food desert -- a part of town where there is limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Now there's another problem -- food swamps.

Food swamps are areas where there are a lot of fast food chains and very few grocery stores with access to fresh affordable produce. Throughout our area, there are plenty of spots like this.

Advertisement – Content Continues Below

Food swamps can contribute to an increase in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health issues. To help the problem, Foodlink sends out the Curbside Market truck that sells fresh affordable produce.

Tops on Lake Avenue in Rochester is one of several of the grocery chain locations closing soon. Mitch Gruber of Rochester City Council says this will create more of a need.

“In this neighborhood, we're looking at a McDonald's. We're looking at a bunch of corner stores. It's very challenging to be able to eat fresh and healthy food, especially when you lose a store like Tops,” Gruber says. "If you map it out, you'll see we have far too few grocers to serve the amount of people we have in the city.”

Florence Clemmons, manager of Curbside Market at Foodlink, says sometimes cost is a factor when it comes to purchasing produce.

“The thing that's really good about our program as well besides taking cash, debit, and food stamps, is we also double and match,” Clemmons says “So we help those who are on food stamps to stretch their dollar.” 

If someone uses SNAP benefits at the market, their purchase will be matched up to $10. That means a person will have $20 to spend.

This year, the Curbside Market has served more than 40,000 people. It serves several areas outside of Monroe County including Ontario, Wayne, Livingston, Genesee, and Orleans counties.

Click here to check out the schedule for each region.


Kaci Jones

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Relay Media Amp

We no longer have Facebook comments on this site. Please visit our Facebook Page to join the conversation.