Ending Food Deserts in Dane County


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When it comes to getting healthier food into your neighborhood, you have to get the word out first.

On March 6, the League of Women Voters of Dane County hosted a forum on food desert issues in Dane County.The forum discussed limitations of Madison’s food system and what local government and businesses are doing to address related problems.

“Poverty is not unique in Wisconsin,” said Carrie Edgar, department head and community food systems educator for Dane County UW-Extension. Dane County’s Food Share participants more than tripled from 2000 to 2010. Among those suffering from poverty, children outnumber the elderly two to one. Edgar encouraged the community to address the food insecurity by promoting and establishing food access points, such as farmer markets, that are convenient to all community members.

After Edgar, Kyle Richmond, member of the Dane County Food Council and vice-chair of the City of Madison Food Policy Council, explained methods by which local government is trying to fortify the local food system. Some of these methods include pursuing an institutional food market coalition and sustainable agriculture agenda. Through the institutional food market coalition, the government hopes to expand the market opportunities by getting institutions like universities and hospitals to buy more local food. Helping people get healthier and helping the local economy at the same time—it’s a win-win for the folks in Dane County.

Stay tuned to see how these advocates turn these plans into action.

Has your community began the discussion about getting more local, fresh food on the table?

By The Numbers By The Numbers



for every Latino neighborhood, compared to 3 for every non-Latino neighborhood

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