|The Knoxville MPC missed a few food deserts by not clicking on enough boxes.|
Do You Live in One of Knox County’s 20 Food Deserts?
Have you heard the term “food desert?” These are areas where access to healthy food is difficult to obtain because of location and income. In 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) began tracking food deserts across the nation. Individuals and families living in food deserts often have to drive long distances and/or depend on public transportation to get to a grocery store. There are urban and rural food deserts and there are different ways the USDA measures access to food, based on distance and vehicle access.
If you had to walk to a grocery store to get your food supplies for the week, could you? If you relied on the bus for your weekly shopping trip, would that be a difficult and/or time consuming part of your week? If you had to drive 10 miles or more to access a grocery store, how often would you go? Would you purchase the more perishable fresh fruits and vegetables or would you opt for more canned or frozen items?(Italics mine)
They show the last food desert I examined, the one that has a Trader Joe's, Super Target, Super Mercado, India Store, and Lucky Asian Market.
Anyway, let's focus on this bit of alarm:
If you had to walk to a grocery store to get your food supplies for the week, could you? If you relied on the bus for your weekly shopping trip, would that be a difficult and/or time consuming part of your week?Would somebody from that organization like to tell me who needs to do that? All anybody in that situation needs to do is call (865) 524-0319. What is that number you ask? It is the number to Knox County Community Action Committee Transit. "Buried" on their website is this wee bit of information:
Provides limited transportation to people of all ages within Knox County who have no other means to get to medical appointments, shopping, employment, and other essential services. Sliding scale fares. Furnishes transportation on contract for the Office on Aging, Senior Nutrition Program, O’Connor Senior Center, and other nonprofit agencies.
Priority Is Given To:
- Dialysis and Cancer Therapy
- Health Department Clinic and Other Medical Treatment
- Therapy for Severe Arthritis, Post-stroke or Other Trauma
- Grocery, Drug Store Shopping and Other Essential Errands
- Contracts which Increase Access to Community Resources and Promote Coordinated Use of Vehicles.
BOLDING AND UNDERLINING MINE
IF there is a charge for their 24/7 service at all, it is less that $3.00 per trip. They will even drive you to work if you need it and you can buy a 20 trip pass for $40 if you don't qualify for a free ride.
Of all the organizations in the world, the Knoxville MPC should know that nobody in Knox County (including the part in the city) need go without a ride if they need one, especially to the grocery store!
Rather than shoving federal, State, and local funds at big businesses that want to be bigger, how about telling people about the services that are already available?
Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ