A message from Clint Smith: As a teacher, everyday I see how the battles we fight in public health, education, housing, and poverty are so deeply connected. One of the biggest issues we face is food access. 26.5 million Americans live in food deserts, and those disproportionately exists in communities of color--the community in which I teach in. In DC, Wards 7 and 8, which have the District's highest poverty rates, also have the city's highest obesity rates. What my kids do or don't eat affects how they are able to perform when they come to my class. Where grocery stores do or don't decide to build affects the health of my students and their families. What places accept WIC and food stamps literally plays a role in determining the life expectancies of the people in those neighborhoods. As Ron Finley put it, in our communities, "drive thrus are killing more people than drive bys." I wanted to write something that spoke to how pervasive this issue is, yet how little attention it receives. Check it out, pass it along, let's let people know that this is a real problem.
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