Ten years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, finding healthy food in the Lower 9th Ward is more than just a challenge – it’s nearly impossible. The nearest full-service grocery story is about 3.5 miles away in St. Bernard Parish -- it takes 3 buses to get there. The only local option for food is the nearby gas station.
On the corner of Caffin and Galvez, in the heart of the Lower 9th Ward, Burnell and Keasha Cotlon have undertaken building the first grocery store since Hurricane Katrina to finally make fresh and healthy foods available to the community. Lifelong residents of the Lower 9th Ward, the Cotlons have invested their life's savings into providing food access to the Lower 9th Ward.
So come on in! Take a look and bring your shopping list, because we're here to help you make dinner tonight!
What is a Food Desert?
A food desert is an area, especially one with low-income residents, that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. In contrast, an area with supermarkets or vegetable shops is termed a food oasis. The term food desert considers food available to the population, in addition to the number, nature, and size of food stores that are accessible. Food deserts are characterized by a lack of supermarkets which decreases residents’ access to fruits, vegetables and other whole foods. In 2010, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 18 million Americans live in a food desert, meaning that they live more than one mile from a supermarket in urban or suburban areas, and more than 10 miles from a supermarket in rural areas.