Welcome to the Unshared Bounty Blog!

Welcome to the Unshared Bounty blog!  Unshared Bounty at New York Law School is a policy and advocacy initiative focused on challenging issues of food equity on behalf of low-income communities. Food equity is the right of communities everywhere to access fresh and healthy food regardless of race, class, income, ethnicity, or community.  Unshared Bounty promotes the basic right to healthy affordable food and improving physical and economic access to food, and is a resource for the local and national food policy community. Through education, research, and advocacy, the project brings together public interest, business and transactional law students and faculty to collaborate with local and national stakeholders to build a sustainable, equitable and accessible food system that addresses and challenges the underlying causes for food disparity and food insecurity.

“Food is life. It is necessity and pleasure, family and community, culture and power.”[1] Above all, food “marks social differences, boundaries, bonds and contradictions.”[2] In the United States, these social differences, boundaries and contradictions are starkly reflected in the fact that 23.5 million Americans currently live in food deserts, communities with no access or severely limited regular access to healthy and affordable food.[3] For example, Blacks are half as likely to have access to chain supermarkets and Latinos are a third less likely to have access to chain supermarkets. And, poor minority communities are more likely to have smaller grocery stores carrying higher priced, less varied food products than other neighborhoods.[4] The lack of access to healthy food leaves minorities living in low-income neighborhoods vulnerable to obesity, heart disease, hypertension and many chronic illnesses related to a poor diet. In return, a poor diet can influence cognitive development in early childhood, an individual’s susceptibility to illness, and educational outcomes within a community.  Through this blog, we hope to provide information and resources about food inequity and contribute to the conversation about how to advance food equity in underserved communities.

[1] New York Law School Racial Justice Project and the American Civil Liberties Union, “Unshared Bounty:  How Structural Racism Contributes to the Creation and Persistence of Food Deserts,” (June 2012) at 5.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.