Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Feeding a city with better food sources
by Staff Writers
East Lansing MI (SPX) Feb 18, 2016

A recent MSU study has shown that the Flint Farmers' Market has not only been good for the city's economy, but for reaching people with challenges in accessing healthier food in the area. Image courtesy G.L. Kohuth. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Access to clean water hasn't been the only health issue facing Flint. Since 2008, Michigan State University public health expert, Rick Sadler, has been mapping out areas of the city that have had almost no access to healthier food options and evaluating solutions that could help remedy the problem.

The Flint native's most recent study, published in the journal Applied Geography, has found that simply changing the location of a farmers' market to downtown Flint has brought cascading positive effects to residents of the area.

"The market has not only been good for the local economy, but for reaching people with challenges in accessing healthier food," said Sadler, who is also an assistant professor in the College of Human Medicine. "That's important because farmers' markets are often perceived as being elitist, only benefiting a certain class of folks. Our local market has proven differently and represents a good cross section of the community."

Sadler's research has shown that since its move in 2013, more customers have been coming to the market from neighborhoods representing the two highest classifications of socioeconomic distress. In 2015, 37 percent of residents from these areas frequented the market compared to 31 percent in 2011 when it was located outside of the city.

Locating the market near a bus station has helped too. Results related to how people got there showed that 21 percent of residents took the bus, walked or biked, compared to only 4 percent in 2011.

"The fact that there's been an increase in people coming and having access to healthier food simply because of the move, is a win," Sadler said. "The farmers' market can really be looked at as a catalyst of potentially better things to come."

Economically, the market has brought in more money for the city since its relocation. In 2011, it was estimated that annual direct sales totaled $4.9 million. In 2015, total sales hit nearly $14 million.

Sadler also credits the market's success to offering incentives such as the Double Up Food Bucks program where customers with SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, benefits can spend up to $20 on groceries and get another $20 to spend on locally grown fruits and vegetables.

"These incentives eliminate some of the barriers residents often face when accessing these better food options," Sadler said. "The least mobile, most financially distressed people are often constrained to just their immediate surroundings which typically only include fast food, liquor or convenience stores."

Sadler noted that because the city of Flint has lost half of its population, mostly to surrounding suburbs, since the 1960s, the purchasing power of its residents has diminished significantly. This has caused stores to close up or relocate outside of the city. As a result, certain areas have become "food deserts," or places where residents simply don't have access to better quality food.

Using his spatial analysis research, a method that allows scientists to see otherwise invisible patterns of a particular phenomenon on a map, Sadler is working with Flint's local food bank to pinpoint new distribution sites to areas that are underserved. He also continues to work with MSU Extension and the edible flint local food collaborative on helping to identify geographic locations where teaching and implementing urban gardening could benefit residents.

"It's not the WalMarts of the world that are going to save Flint's access to food," Sadler said. "It's strengthening the local food landscape and building sustainable food options like the farmers' market that will help feed the city."

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Michigan State University
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Lactation, weather found to predict milk quality in dairy cows
Durham NH (SPX) Feb 16, 2016
The quality of colostrum - the nutrient-rich milk newborn dairy calves first drink from their mothers - can be predicted by the mother's previous lactation performance and weather, according to new research from the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire. UNH researchers found that previous lactation performance data can predict colostrum quality; the more la ... read more

New Satellite-Based Maps to Aid in Climate Forecasts

Consistency of Earth's magnetic field history surprises scientists

Sentinel-3A fully tanked

Mission teams prepare for critical days

Russia Developing Glonass Satellite And Latest Bird Launched

China to launch nearly 40 Beidou navigation satellites in five years

45th SW supports Air Force GPS IIF-12 launch aboard an Atlas V

United Launch Alliance launches GPS IIF-12 satellite for U.S. Air Force

Benefits of re-growing secondary forests explored through international collaboration

Drones learn to search forest trails for lost people

Secondary tropical forests absorb carbon at higher rate than old-growth forests

Forest losses increase local temperatures

Iowa State engineers develop hybrid technology to create biorenewable nylon

Researchers create synthetic biopathway to turn agriculture waste into 'green' products

Spain's Abengoa submits plan to avoid bankruptcy: source

UCR research advances oil production in yeast

SolarEdge Surpasses 10 Million Shipped Power Optimizers

Clean Energy Collective Co-Founds Community Solar Trade Association

Renewables for mining go baseload with a hybrid fuel-solar solution

Global Solar PV Pipeline Surpasses 200 GW

EU boasts of strides in renewable energy

Offshore U.K. to host world's largest wind farm

Germany aims to build wind energy reputation

Mechanical trees generate power as they sway in the wind

Central Appalachia flatter as result of mountaintop mining

Adani's mega coal mine clears Australia environmental hurdle

'Miracle' rescue of four China miners after 36 days underground

Coal formation linked to assembly of supercontinent Pangea

China must release detained activists, rights lawyers: UN

Beijing pins Hong Kong riot on "radical separatists"

Hong Kong bookseller 'involuntarily removed' to China: Britain

Over 30 Hong Kong protesters in court over riot

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement