While many view America as an extremely developed first-world country, some areas are far from being shining examples of development. In fact, many rural residents across the United States face a number of significant problems that their urban-dwelling counterparts don’t.
One of the most disheartening and substantial challenges that rural areas face is consistent food shortages. This has a number of negative effects on the residents of rural areas and their health.
Fortunately, there are ways that America can move past this saddening obstacle and ensure that all citizens have access to adequate amounts of food. Understanding the most effective solutions to this problem is key to gaining a better perspective on ways the country needs to evolve in the modern age.
Here is what we can do about the food shortages in rural areas.
Understanding the Negative Impacts of Food Shortages
Food shortages can be incredibly harmful to rural residents who experience it. From increasing people’s risk of developing chronic illnesses to increasing people’s risk of developing mental health ailments, the effects can be devastating.
Given the fact that food shortages are severely harming rural residents across the country, it’s vital that new solutions are championed to put an end to this harrowing problem.
Solutions to the Rural Food Shortage Problem
Food shortages in rural areas are a far too common occurrence in the United States. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this challenge.
Here are some of the most viable solutions to the rural food shortage problem.
Championing Farmer’s Markets
For many citizens, farmer’s markets are seen as a fun activity that provides one access to fresh food. For many rural residents across the country, however, farmer’s markets can be a lifeline.
Farmer’s markets help both farmers and rural residents in key and significant ways. Most importantly, these markets give rural residents access to nutritious food on a regular basis. In addition, these markets provide a space for farmers to educate rural residents about ways to make food last longer.
For farmers, these markets can offer an extra stream of income and a sense of connection to others. This being the case, increasing the number of farmer’s markets in rural areas can help make a significant dent in the problem of rural food shortages while also benefiting farmers.
Initiatives that Subsidize Food Retailers
When governments pour resources into ending food shortages, amazing results typically occur. One extremely effective way that government organizations can combat food shortages in rural areas is by funding initiatives that subsidize food retailers.
Essentially, these efforts involve governments providing funding to food retailers to open new stores in food deserts. Oftentimes, these food deserts are found in rural areas that lack significant infrastructure.
By getting a financial boost, more food retailers are incentivized to open stores in rural areas. This increases access to food for rural residents in an extremely significant way. As such, this form of government intervention could be incredibly impactful in the fight to end rural food shortages.
Community-Run Agricultural Projects
Often, rural residents have no access to fresh, nutritious food. Instead, when rural can access food, it’s often highly processed and unhealthy. Fortunately, community-run agricultural projects can be an effective way to solve this.
Similar to community health promotion, agricultural efforts of this nature can help improve the health of community members and raise awareness about key problems. Essentially, these projects involve community members planting food and tending to their crops. This can include foods such as fruits, vegetables, and spices.
What makes this form of solving rural food shortages so accessible is that it can be done on both a small and large scale. In addition, seeing this type of project can easily inspire other residents to engage in similar types of practices.
Ultimately, rural residents taking matters into their own hands and growing these types of foods on their own can improve rural communities across the country in significant ways.
Educating Rural Residents
Education can play a key role in ending the rural area food shortage crisis currently plaguing scores of American communities. This can take many different forms, all of which can be impactful to rural residents.
This type of education will involve teaching rural residents about what types of food they should be eating to maintain good health, what types of food they should avoid, how to grow food, and how to store food to make it last as long as possible.
The more that this type of education is provided to rural residents, the more empowered they will be to engage in impactful practices that help them stay healthy.
Rural Food Shortages Must Be Solved
Though many are unaware, food shortages in rural areas have become a significant problem in the United States. This being the case, more effort must be made to help rural residents gain more access to healthy and nutritious foods.
Thankfully, there are a variety of practices that can help aid and empower rural residents across the country. Hopefully, more attention will come to this problem in the near future and more will be done to overcome this obstacle once and for all.