Food Deserts in a Pandemic

Residents of the Douglass Homes “affordable” housing community in Baltimore are organizing with supporters to get food during the coronavirus pandemic. Like other people in impoverished communities in Baltimore and around the country, Douglass Homes residents have few places to shop for groceries. These neighborhoods are often “food deserts” even in better times, with no or very few supermarkets. So, when the one grocery store nearby has empty shelves, what are you supposed to do? Few of these folks have their own cars, while riding public transit increases your risk of infection.

In Baltimore, the vast majority of public or private “affordable” housing residents are people of color, in this case African American. They face racism not only in housing and access to food, but in access to health care.  The same is true across the U.S. 

So what about access to Covid-19 tests and other resources? Maryland officials have so far refused to release data by race on coronavirus cases and treatment.  Why not?  They release data by city and county.

People are going to have to organize to get the information we need, just like the Douglass Homes residents and their supporters are organizing to get food in a “desert” made by racism.

Featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons