It has come to my attention that the South Bronx is infested! There is an infestation of fast food restraints plaguing the streets of the South Bronx specifically the area in which my organization is based. In less than 2-weeks a new fast food restaurant has been erected across the street from a Dunkin Donuts adjacent to an “in-progress” Little Caesar’s pizza spot. It’s amazing to see how
Hunts Point/South Bronx, is one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York, but is jammed packed with fast food joints in less than a 4 block radius. There are just as many fast food places as there is cellphone stores and 99 cents stores.
This is a call to action, not only by community leaders, but by my organization who has tirelessly tackled the issue of obesity since establishing the Fit For Life Program for kids. Urban Health Plan, Inc. has continuously advocated for community change surrounding food justice in the South Bronx community. Not only is Hunts Point one of the poorest neighborhoods, but they also have the highest rates of obesity and asthma alike. It is paramount for our community’s health center to inspire a movement for food justice in the community. While fast food corporations continue to erect fast food establishments, we will continue to see an increase in obesity in our community. We cannot allow theses corporations to continue to infect our communities we have so desperately tried to develop. We can not stop at only promoting a health lifestyle, but radically advocating for these fast food restraints to make their way out of the community.
New research have recently identified a growing trend in this obesity epidemic in the United States. According to this new research, by 2030, 42% of Americans will overweight or obese. If the world had a back, it will probably have hernias the size of meteorites. This brings me to my next point- why are fast food establishments still targeting vulnerable communities? Yes I understand that this not only allows people to access cheap and easy meals, but it also provides jobs for the community…blah, blah, blah. There are other ways of providing for a community, and this is not one of them. I am not much of an obesity guru, but I do stand up for social justice when I say that this is truly disheartening and these fast-food places should not be welcomed into the community.