A Place at the Table: One Nation. Underfed.

a kitchen counter topped with lots of fresh vegetables

I saw an interesting, thought-provoking movie at the Ken Cinema this week. A Place at the Table explores the issue of hunger in America and how it has become a serious socioeconomic and cultural problem in our nation.

Many areas in the U.S. are “food deserts,” where access to fresh produce is limited due to cost, location, and the perishable nature of fruits and vegetables. People residing in these areas tend to purchase inexpensive, processed foods that have a longer shelf life. While purchasing these “junk” foods (instead of more expensive but healthier choices) may seem to make financial sense for a low-income family, the lack of nutritional value can lead to obesity, low energy, and eventually, medical bills.

It got me thinking: what if we approached this issue as a design problem? Could there be a solution to get fresh food to areas that don’t have fully stocked grocery stores? Would a mobile grocery store work, like a food truck but just delivering produce? Could there be a social answer, like pooling resources/crowdsourcing? It seems to me like the solution could be reached through design to better enable access.

Bill Leach
Design Manager