Connecting Food Insecurity and Gun Violence

Connecting Food Insecurity and Gun Violence

What To Know Today The connection between gun violence and food insecurity. An analysis of last year’s 271 homicides in St. Louis, Missouri, found that nearly 70 percent occurred in low-income census tracts with no grocery store or supermarket for at least half a mile. Fifty-two killings were concentrated in eight census tracts with no grocery store for a mile. Urban areas that lack such access to grocers and produce are often referred to as food deserts, but as the Kansas City Star reports, many Black activists and farmers refer to the disparity as “food apartheid,” emphasizing the systemic racial inequities. A focus on food access: As public health researchers and community activists seek to combat the root causes of violence, Black urban farmers in St. Louis are working to ensure their communities — especially the children among them — get the access to the nutrients they need. Hunger and the lack of a complex nutritional diet can make it harder for people to handle conflicts with peers and authority, and to deal with extreme stress, experts tell The Star . “I’ve seen the difference in kids when they get a meal and when they don’t get a meal, how they behave and how they focus in school,” Tyrean “Heru” Lewis, a teacher-turned-urban farmer, tells the outlet. “So I truly believe that’s all connected.” Oakland’s new budget gives millions to community-led violence reduction but falls way short of “defund” promises. Following a year of debate, Oakland’s City Council voted […]

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