Improving Access to Healthy and Affordable Food
If you have tuned into the news lately, you’ve probably heard a lot about food security. But what exactly is food security? According to the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, the term means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Basically, food security means that people have reliable access to affordable and nutritious food.
In contrast, a food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Mora could be considered a food desert, as we currently have grocery options, but not a grocery store that meets all our needs. However, there are various things being done to address this issue in our community. The Los De Mora Grower’s Cooperative is offering locally and commercially grown produce at their store in Cleveland. The Mora Valley Ranch Supply store has also become the Mora Valley Ranch Supply and Grocery, offering various food and grocery products to help meet the need.
There are also various commodities and food programs throughout Mora. The Mora Senior Center is offering drive-thru meals for seniors from 11:30- 1:00pm Monday through Friday. The Mora Independent School District is offering free meals to children under 18 years of age from 11:00- 12:00pm Monday through Friday at various locations. The First Presbyterian Church is distributing free food pantry items every fourth Wednesday of the month from 2-3pm. St. Gertrude’s church, Helping Hands, and Chacon Community are also distributing monthly commodities. There are also various programs available in the Las Vegas/San Miguel County area. These programs all have different criteria for qualification, which can be found by contacting each program. Attached below are schedules for food distribution and contact information for food security programs in both Mora and San Miguel County.
Globally, there are over 800 million people living in hunger. Considering that we already produce enough food to feed the planet, this should not be an issue. However, food waste, large scale agriculture that inefficiently uses resources, and poverty are all issues that are contributing to world hunger. Although we cannot tackle all these issues, there are a few things we can do to support food security locally:
- Grow your own food
- Buy locally grown food
- Start a school or community gardening program
- Donate to your local food bank or soup kitchen
- Adopt an economic development plan to grow the local economy and alleviate poverty
Together, we can increase food security in Mora County and ensure that nobody in our community goes hungry.