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Advisory group formed to tackle Lafayette "food deserts"

Healthy meals going to communities in need during coronavirus pandemic
Posted at 1:31 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 14:31:21-05

An advisory group has been formed to tackle the problem of "food deserts" in Lafayette.

The group is being organized as part of a fellowship with the The Center for Community Investment.

The United Way of Acadiana says that the fellowship was awarded to Community Development Director Hollis Conway, United Way of Acadiana President/CEO Carlee Alm-LaBar, and Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority Executive Director Kevin Blanchard.

The advisory group, which will be made up of people from all walks of life, will begin meeting later this month to find ways to increase capital investment in dis-invested parts of the city where availability of fresh and nutritious food is lacking.

The United Way says that these food deserts are directly related to the legacy of structural racism, discrimination and disinvestment.

According to UWA, more than half of the population of the City of Lafayette lives in a census tract designated as a "food desert" — meaning residents there don't have easy access to fresh food. And nearly two-thirds of the residents who live in Lafayette's food deserts are persons of color.

The advisory group has set a goal to drastically reduce the number of residents who lack access to fresh food.

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