What's for dinner?Organizing around food access issues in Los Angeles.
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When driving through low income neighborhoods such as MacArthur Park, liquor stores, fast food restaurants, and convenience stores abound, but dare to look for a grocery store and you may as well be six years old again playing ?Where?s Waldo??. The gross inequity of food access in this country is a problem that is just beginning to be explored by researchers and the media, but to the people who live in neighborhoods without adequate food access, the reality is a harsh one of degrading food choices that perpetuate what is the new American epidemic: simultaneous obesity and malnutrition. My work this summer at the Center for Food and Justice allowed me to practice the organizing skills that I have been learning during my two year internship with the Center. Over the course of the summer I was involved in several projects: A Community Food Assessment in MacArthur Park/ Pico Union neighborhood; work with students at Belmont High School to assess and improve the quality of their school food; and organizing outreach efforts around a community garden project that is beginning in Highland Park. All of these projects focus on organizing communities so that they are better able to work on the complicated issues of food access.