Feeding a Food Desert
The St. Clair neighborhood, where the Hilltop Urban Farm is located, has been designated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a food desert. ‘Food Deserts’ are low-income communities that are devoid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. The St. Clair neighborhood was identified one of the Top 5 locations with low food access in Allegheny County, PA by Just Harvest in its 2013 report “A Menu for Food Justice: Strategies for Improving Access to Healthy Foods in Allegheny County.” The nearest supermarket for St. Clair residents is located 1.8 miles away. Currently 99% of the $700,000 grocery retail demand leaves the St. Clair and Mt. Oliver City neighborhoods.
Food desert communities face a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets, and healthy food providers. Hilltop Urban Farm seeks to turn what is currently a food desert into a food-production resource, one that is abundant with access to healthy food.