This time it’s Colonial Heights branch in the spotlight, being named by the Urban Libraries Council as one of the Top 10 Innovators of 2013. Specifically, the branch was recognized for “Sustainability” for its “Read & Feed Garden”:
The library and garden are located in an underprivileged South Sacramento neighborhood where one quarter of the population is at the poverty level and seven out of ten neighborhood children are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches. The area is referred to as a “food desert” because of the lack of access to fresh produce.
I have been to some events in the library, and enjoyed some fresh fruit harvested there. It’s a really special thing.
I’m not sure I buy the whole “food desert” thing, though. I guess I would need to know specifically what area we’re talking about; there is a Foods Co at Fruitridge and Stockton, a Bel Air tucked away on Fruitridge, and several ethnic groceries around the area. I’m not sure it is much farther from groceries than, say, Alkali Flat or River Park. Do we assume that people living in “underprivileged” areas are less skilled at getting around than someone living next to Glenn Hall Park?
Not to mention, the City of Sacramento’s “big box ordinance” has to have prevented some possible grocery options in those areas (though much of the area is in that County carve-out, which is a question/topic for another day).
Bottom line: the phrase creeps me out. Is it just me?