Challenge: Provide access to healthy food for everyone in Baltimore.
Roughly two-thirds of the city’s adults and nearly 40 percent of high school students are overweight or obese. What’s worse, major disparities exist between the obesity rates of whites and blacks, people with and without college degrees, and households making more and less than $25,000 a year. A recent Baltimore City report found that 43 percent of residents in the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods have very limited access to healthy food, compared with just 4 percent of predominantly white neighborhoods.
Introducing Urbanite Project 2012: Healthy Food Challenge. We’re inviting teams or individuals to compete for $12,000 in prize money (provided by our partners, the Baltimore City Health Department, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, United Way of Central Maryland, and Stratford University) to answer the question: How can we make Baltimore healthier?
This year, Urbanite, in association with the Baltimore City Health Department, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, United Way of Central Maryland, and Stratford University, aims to improve residents’ access to healthy food, citywide. Urbanite Project 2012: Healthy Food Challenge calls for creative, innovative, non-traditional ideas that address one or more of the barriers to affordable, healthy food for Baltimore City residents living in neighborhood food deserts. Food deserts, as defined by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, are residential block groups more than a quarter-mile from a major supermarket and where 40 percent of the population’s household income is below $25,000. The barriers are varied and numerous—transportation, a lack of healthy food at nearby stores, education, food preparation, and time, among other factors, all contribute to the problem.
This year’s Urbanite Project aims to improve residents’ access to healthy food, citywide. Whether it’s a vegetable garden in a vacant lot, an after-school cooking class for high school students, or a supermarket delivery service, the solutions are out there. We think that if we can level the playing field, foodwise, we have the potential to unite an otherwise divided city, on other levels.
[Information retrieved from The 2012 Urbanite Project]
Working with Power in Dirt is one of the many ways that you can help provide access to healthy food in Baltimore. Since Power in Dirt focuses on the revitalization of city owned vacant lots you are able to adopt a lot and start a vegetable garden in your neighborhood which will allow your community to have access to fresh produce!