As a communication expert, UNC Greensboro’s Dr. Marianne LeGreco understands that the way we talk about food impacts the solutions we put in place.
For example, “there’s a difference between ‘availability of’ and ‘access to’ food,” explains the associate professor of communication studies.
In North Carolina, fresh vegetables and many fruits are available year-round. But while food may be available, it’s not always accessible. In Guilford County, many residents live in “food deserts,” or areas in which most residents live more than a mile from a grocery store, and below the poverty line.
People living in food deserts can feel stuck there. Residents are not in walking distance to a grocery store, and some cannot afford transportation.
“The idea of ‘access’ seems easy to wrap our minds around,” LeGreco says. “And we think we can fix that easily by starting a food pantry, a community garden or a mobile market. But really, there’s more to it than that.”
Originally published February 06, 2018.