Mapping Global Food Deserts
In this collaborative global project, students will chart the location of local food providers and compare their area with different places around the world
Scarcity means there is a severe lack of food, and in some cases no food. That is a very serious problem in many places around the world. However, another problem, especially in many cities, is the lack of healthy food options. People may only have access to junk food, like chips and soda, but little or no access to fruits and vegetables. This can lead to malnutrition and people not getting the calories and nutrients needed to be healthy.
How far do you travel to get your groceries? There are over six million people in the United States alone who live more than 16.1 kilometers (10 miles) from a grocery store. There are over 60 million people in the United States who live in an area with no access to healthy food options or organic produce. These places are called food deserts.
In this collaborative global project, students will chart the location of local food providers and compare their area with different places around the world. Students will use the information to draw conclusions about global food deserts and food scarcity.
Build Background Knowledge
Use the strategies and resources below to prepare for your discussions and data collection.
- Introduce the United Nation’s (UN’s) Sustainable Development goal of zero hunger, with the aim to end hunger by 2030 by making sure that all people, especially children, have access to nutritious food year-round. Ensure students understand the idea of scarcity, and facilitate the connection between food scarcity and world hunger.
- Watch the videos A Healthy Diet and Malnutrition to begin a discussion about equity in food choice and malnutrition caused by lack of nutritious food availability.
- Watch the video Food Deserts: Urban Farming to introduce the concept of food deserts.
- As a class, develop working definitions of the following terms: grocery store, convenienсe store, market, and food pantry.
- Have students identify the where their family gets most of their groceries. They should use online mapping software to determine the distance between their home and their family’s grocery provider
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