Thursday, February 2, 2012
Michele Obama welcomes a soon to be Oasis in the Inglewood Food Desert
Michelle Obama (First Lady of the United States, in case you haven't heard) was in Inglewood yesterday (and BTW she, as always, looked great!) to celebrate the making of the newest Northgate Gonzalez Market.
Obama, along with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, Northgate Gonzalez Markets COO and Co-President Oscar Gonzalez came together to celebrate the first tangible examples of progress facilitated by the California FreshWorks Fund. "It sounds so simple," said Obama. "When families have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, kids get better nutrition."
For those who don't know Inglewood is a known L.A. Food Desert (a food desert is any area in the industrialized world where healthful, affordable food is difficult to obtain). In other words, low income metropolitan areas that are littered with liquor stores and fast food chains, but no supermarkets with fresh fruits and veggies. The lack of real food results in a myriad of diseases from Diabetes to Hypertension.
Villaraigosa noted that Obesity is 3 times more likely to occur in South L.A. than in West L.A.. "It's not fair," Obama stated,"if a parent wants to pack a piece of fruit in their kid's lunch, they shouldn't need to get on a bus to do so!"
But all that will be changed as the site of an abandoned Inglewood warehouse will soon be home to the thirty-fifth Northgate Gonzalez Market with the help of help of California FreshWorks Fund financing. The California FreshWorks Fund is a $264 million public-private partnership loan fund led by The California Endowment and an all-star team of partners to bring affordable healthy food access to underserved communities around the state.
Obama noted that "it's not just about what our kids eat today, but what they feed their children. We're working not just on this generation, but the next one and the next one."