Citizen: Violent Areas Are Hungry Areas

In Philly, a look at the linkage between rising homicides & rising food insecurity

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From The Philadelphia Citizen

Of the many things that Mayor Jim Kenney could do to tackle rising violent crime in his city is to make sure grocery stores don’t shut down where they’re needed the most. Yet, in recent weeks— as city homicides rose to 351 murders in 2018 (an 11 percent increase from the previous year)—that’s exactly what happened when a Brown’s ShopRite closed in West Philadelphia, a victim, according to the owner, of the Mayor’s soda tax.

The impact of that announced closure renews frustration over the ongoing problem of food insecurity in Philadelphia, another crisis—complimenting the violence crisis—that’s persisted, unabated, for generations. City leaders and advocates are clearly unable to reduce Philly’s stubborn poverty rate (which Pew unpacked here). It’s actually increased in areas, as the latest Five Year Census Bureau Survey shows, and has led to an epic 22 percent rise in food insecurity, as noted by Hunger Free America.

When we look at a map of gun violence throughout Philadelphia, via the Inquirer, it is fascinating how that poverty (which further instigates the conditions for food insecurity) projects and intersects where that violence escalates.

Read the full piece here