Bayview wants better grocery stores

A study released today shows that residents in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood think access to fresh and health food is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed.

According to the study administered by the Southeast Sector Food Access Working Group, residents in the neighborhood have been asking for quality grocery stores for 20 years. Ninety-four percent of the 562 residents who were surveyed say they would actively support new food options in the neighborhood.

Over half of the residents surveyed say that they shop at Safeway stores in other neighborhoods. Four out of five respondents said that freshness was the most important factor when choosing a place to buy food, even above affordability. According to the study, 58 percent of residents want a co-op market in the neighborhood, while 53 percent say the most important factor when choosing a grocery store is that foods be free of pesticides and chemicals.

Residents in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood have disproportionately higher rates of health problems associated with poor nutrition than other neighborhoods with better food options, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

“This survey makes clear how urgent it is that we find a way to provide Bayview Hunters Point residents with convenient access to the same kinds of healthful foods available in any other San Francisco neighborhood,'' said Mark SEFA Co-Chair Ghaly. “The disproportionate number of people here struggling with obesity, asthma, heart disease and other health issues demands that we do better.”

SEFA is a working group of the Mayor Gavin Newsom's Shape Up SF Coalition, and is composed of city agencies and community-based organizations.

— Bay City News

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