Every October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy healthy food and to push for improved food policies. The 2014 Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers. Community Commons offers maps and data resources to help you highlight these issues in your area.
Food Day was created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as a way to celebrate our food system where it works, and to fix the system when it’s broken. Successful events from 2013 included the Big Apple Crunch in New York City, The New Hampshire School Breakfast Challenge, and the Good Food Community Fair in San Diego, as well as 4,700 other events in all 50 states.
The focal point for Food Day 2014 is food justice and taking action to solve food related problems at all levels. Take a look at each emphasis area and the data resources we have provided for further understanding.
Focus Area: Food Access & Equality
- Some of the most food-productive areas of the US also have the lowest rates of food security among workers. Poor wages and seasonal jobs put families at risk for hunger.
- Urban neighborhoods are more likely to have a high number of convenience stores, which carry few healthy foods, and few, if any, grocery stores or farmer’s markets.
See the full Food Day infographic
Focus Area: Hunger & Obesity
- Obesity disproportionately effects low income Americans. Calorie dense, low nutrition foods are often perceived as cheaper to purchase and easier to prepare, but the poor quality and high sugar and salt content leads to increased hunger and a range of health issues.
- Recent cuts in SNAP have only increased the burden for families and could lead to greater health issues in the future.
Focus Area: Junk Food Marketing
Marketing becomes a food justice issue when you look at the statistics related to age and race.
- According to Salud America!, Latino kids are a top target for food marketers and Latino neighborhoods have nine times more outdoor ads for unhealthy foods than White neighborhoods.
- A Yale Rudd Center report on fast food marketing states that Black youth saw 60% more calories and sodium per day in fast food advertising compared to their White peers.
- Soda and other sugar sweetened beverages are, by far, the top ranked teen-directed marketing campaign expenditures in the US according to a 2012 Federal Trade Commission report.
Focus Area: Food Service Workers
- A 2012 report titled The Hands That Feed Us states that only 13.5% of food service workers make a livable wage, 83% do not receive health insurance by an employer, and 74% never received any further job training or opportunity to apply for a better job.
Food Service Industry Employment and Race/Ethnicity by Block
Focus Area: Farm Workers
- Farm work is one of the most dangerous occupations
in the country. Farm workers face health risks like heat stress, urinary tract infections, and eye injuries as well as pesticide poisoning.
- More than half of all farmworkers in the US are undocumented and thus receive no social services despite their very low wages.