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A Red Bell Pepper: Food Access 101


The term "food access" can be a little confusing. In an attempt to clear that up we've written a quick 101 guide to the food access issues in OKC and how you can help!

What is food access? Is it the same for everyone?

The term "food access" simply refers to how easy, or difficult, it is for someone to be able to obtain food. Specifically, we are talking about healthy food access, or how hard it is for our citizens to purchase healthy foods. Healthy food access is not the same for everyone, in fact it's estimated that 29.7 million people in America do not have access to nutritious foods.

For instance, if you were standing in your home, how far would you have to go to buy a red bell pepper? Down the street? 1 mile? 5 miles? A bus ride? Do you have to jump in your car?

For approximately 154,680 households in Oklahoma City, that question may be hard to answer [1]. To find a single red pepper, or any healthy food for that matter, may require a long bus ride, car ride, or could simply be unreachable. For many families the only place to buy groceries is their local corner or convenience stores, which carry few nutritious options. 

Why does it matter?

Being able to access healthy foods isn't just about convenience, it's about our health. A healthy heart requires a balanced diet, yet 62% of OKC residents live in "low-access" areas, meaning buying nutritious foods for their families is difficult, if not impossible [1].

The obesity statistics in Oklahoma are already grim, we need to do more to make the healthy choice the easy choice in the city where our children live, learn, and play.

What can I do?

This year we are launching an initiative to bring healthier food into neighborhood corner stores and markets. This campaign will help thousands of individuals and families to have access to healthy snacks and meals every day.

We believe that everyone deserves the right to healthy foods, regardless of where they live. If you believe this too click to send a letter to our city council urging them to support healthier neighborhoods and corner stores.


[1] City of Oklahoma City Planning Department, Health Impact Assessment, pg. 172

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