Monday, August 15, 2016

Solano Fairgrounds Site of County’s Food Oasis Event

VALLEJO — The Solano County Fairgrounds will become a food oasis next month as officials continue to push efforts to make fresh, healthy and affordable food more accessible in the county.

The free event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 27, is designed to answer the question, “How do you turn a food desert into a food oasis?”

“We have higher poverty rates, fewer grocery stores, more fast food outlets and high numbers of workers spending long hours commuting out of the county,” Supervisor Linda Seifert said in a statement.

Members of the Board of Supervisors were told in April that the county compares poorly with many counties in the state and California as a whole when it comes to grocery access. At the same time, Solano County, as compared to other counties and the state in general, has one of the highest number of fast food outlets.

“There are five times as many fast food and convenience stores as grocery and produce centers (in the county),” Christina Arrostuto, district representative for Seifert, said at the time.

That compares to 4.1 statewide.

The board was told the county is dotted with what are termed “food deserts,” areas in which access to fresh, healthy and affordable food is limited.

In fact, 45 percent of Solano County residents in urban areas live at least a mile away from grocery outlets, and convenience stores and fast food restaurants often replace those outlets as the primary shopping locations.

Rural residents have a similar issue and often live more than 10 miles from grocery stores, the supervisors were told.

The food oasis event will include free food, food preparation and cooking demonstrations, food distribution and food storage tips. There also will be instruction on ways to incorporate healthy eating into daily routines.

“Eating healthy, having access to fresh food and exercising are all linked to better school performance and workplace productivity. Eliminating food deserts will also decrease health costs and the human toll of chronic diseases,” board Chairwoman Erin Hannigan said in a statement.

Advance registration is required. Tickets are available at The fairgrounds site is located at 900 Fairgrounds Drive.

Article Source: Daily Republic 

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