It’s hard to think that a city like Chicago would have food deserts because of how accessible everything is. However, many neighborhoods not only have food deserts but also don’t have food balance. Everyone knows that a food desert is a geographical area with no or very distant grocery stores but a food balance means to have equal access to grocery stores as well as fast food choices and other eating options. In 2011, Chicago’s food desert population was about 384,000 which is largely in city’s South and West side. Many of these areas have an access to fast food restaurants, and might purchase food from convenience stores, drug stores, or gas stations. But people residing in these areas have very limited opportunity to buy fresh and healthy food.
In 2011, a study showed that in the past five years of Chicago food deserts declined over 40 percent. However, there are still many solutions that can be done to help the percentage decrease. Taking vacant lots in the South and West side of Chicago and turning them into a community gardens can give people fresh food and even provide jobs for the up keeping of the gardens. Another possible solution would be allowing more urban farming and farmers market vendors to sell in all areas. There isn’t one cause of food deserts and there isn’t one solution, we as a community need to help create possible solutions in decreasing food deserts and creating a food balance.