By Matthew McKenzie
Niagara Falls, NY- For a lot Americans, especially those living in poorer urban settings, environment access to fresh fruits and vegetables is just not a reality. Food deserts, as defined by the American Nutrition Association are parts of the country that lack reliable supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. These are not anything new for Americans, with estimates putting the amount of people that lives in these situations at approximately 25 million people.
How often have you when driving through Niagara Falls seen a plethora of grocery stores, or farmers markets. The answer is you haven’t, parts of Niagara Falls are defined as being food deserts with the downtown only really having one tops supermarket and irregular farmers markets that could provide produce to the residents. These could never be enough for the entire population, that why to alleviate these issues the African Heritage food Co-op has decided to expand from Buffalo to downtown Niagara Falls.
From the food co-op’s website their stated reasons and intentions are , “The current economic and political systems routinely fail our communities. A lack of investment in these communities means that residents have little to no access to necessary services such as banks and supermarkets… forced to choose between purchasing poor-quality food from price-gouging local stores or traveling outside of neighborhoods (often relying on public transit) to purchase fresh and healthy food. Communities realized that in order to reverse these systems, they needed to come together and take ownership of their food system. Thus the African Heritage Food Co-op was founded as a community owned and community operated co-op. Through the AHFC, the community is able to take ownership of their food system, promote their health and wellness, and create good jobs for their residents.
Through this the food co-ops is clearly working to empower downtown Niagara Falls and provide the residents with the necessary fresh produce. If you are looking for more information or to volunteer you can visit their website at https://myahfc.com