This paper outlines cumulative research on food deserts in relation to college students; namely, that there are communities classified as food deserts because significant numbers of the population lack access to grocery stores selling fresh produce or other goods normally called “healthy.” These areas are often also food swamps, or areas with intense access to sugar-dense, high-fat foods. Research as a whole suggests that three considerations primarily drive food insecurity for individuals caught in these food deserts: lack of access to a personal vehicle, low income or prohibitively expensive healthy foods, and personal education or culture (Wright et al., 2016). College students both fit into the geographical food deserts and are individuals who tend to have a worrying level of food insecurity (Kim, 2018). It is costly to make adjustments to entire environments to rid communities of food desert characteristics, and it is not always potent enough to end food insecurity or malnutrition; instead, it can be much more effective to focus on individuals within communities and help push cultures into a better direction. This project demonstrates that ASU students are experiencing food dissatisfaction and are in a food desert worthy of attention and action, and that students are motivated to see a solution. The solution that the paper focuses on is a food delivery system of fresh produce and foods for students, which addresses the three drivers of individual food deserts discussed by Wright et al. (2016).
- Devil’s Harvest: A Solution to the ASU Food Desert