How access to healthier food enriches individuals and the collective community
You’ve heard me use words like Dignity, Equity, and Access for the past two years. I’ve described them to you in great detail, not in a Websters dictionary sort of way … but in how each of these words are reflected in a human experience and how they’ve impacted people in our own community. There is something else we’ve been doing for the past two years that I didn’t realize at the time had words.
Those words are Health Equity.
What is Health Equity? Well, as defined if you Google it: “increasing opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make.”
To break it down further, essentially it’s exponentially less expensive to eat unhealthy foods, especially in this economy. Those foods have a serious and life-changing impact on health, from diabetes to heart disease. Heartbreaking data shows there is a direct correlation between economic disparities and health disparities. And that is just not equitable.
As defined by The Market, Health Equity looks like bountiful purchased local produce, an assortment of healthy dry goods for meal planning, curated recipes with displays of health-focused ingredients, herbs and spices to add flavor instead of just salt, fresh dairy and proteins, and QR codes all around the shopping space with ideas for how to prepare.
How do we do all this you ask? Well, it’s a daily commitment to system change. We are actively writing grants that are focused on this important initiative and have an on-staff Food Steward to guide our decisions.
We believe that creating access to one’s own health has ripple effects beyond our walls in improving our community as a whole. We want to improve lives and outcomes, not create bandaids. That’s been our focus all along.
But as always, all my words mean nothing as compared to this message I received from a customer last night. She likes to show me the beauty she creates after shopping with us. With ingredients to make her own tortilla recipe … and fresh veggies that nourish.
This is Health Equity.