Re-Imagining Empty Lots

Sep. 21, 2011 / By

Written by Ade’ Ford

Often times, we shop based on convenience.  So why is it that most things convenient in our neighborhood are unhealthy?  One of the biggest problems in Long Beach — and in America, period — is weight and health.  If everything convenient to us is packed with salt, sugar, and calories, then how can we eat healthier in our busy lives?

The truth is, we don’t and it’s hurting us.

I pass lots like the one on the corner of Anaheim and Atlantic four to five times a day.  They just sit there, not put to use at all.  What if lots such as this became clean, safe places for low-income families to come and get fresh and clean food?  What if it turned into a produce store, a place where people who can’t afford to leave the neighborhood could get access to fresh vegetables?  If I had the money, or the power, I will make this possible for the people who can’t do it for themselves.

Perhaps this can start with central Long Beach’s very first Farmers’ Market.  Most times, when weekly Farmers’ Markets take place, they take place in wealthier neighborhoods.  They don’t cater to impoverished neighborhoods like ours.  For example, what if they sold vegetables that people in central Long Beach actually ate?  Bringing the Farmers’ Market to our neighborhood will bring positive changes.  Not only would this allow the community to grow but it would also give the farmers more business.

These days, many cities hosts Farmers’ Markets.  Very few, if any, are present in the neighborhoods that need them most.  Having a Farmers’ Market in our neighborhood will change our very city.  Healthier people are happier people, happier people are nicer people, and nicer people are safer people.  By having something as small as a Farmers’ Market, we can change people’s lives and our community for good.

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