Living in a Food Desert During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Louisville organizers rally to provide food for those living in a food desert.


Photos by Gefen Yussman

The COVID-19 outbreak has become a worldwide pandemic. While most people are out stocking up on food and supplies, others can’t because there is no store near them. In times like this, it makes it especially hard for families living in food deserts to get food. What is a food desert you may wonder? Well, the United States Department of Agriculture defines it as the “limited access to supermarkets, supercenters, grocery stores, or other sources of healthy and affordable food in an urban area”.

My name is Alauryn Moore and I live in a food desert. If I want fresh food I have to travel fifteen minutes to the nearest Kroger just to get it. Sadly, this is a scenario that many people in the West End have become all too familiar with. 

Thankfully, my family and I have a car but, for some living in the West End, a car is a luxury so they rely on the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) or walking to get from place to place. But, to use the TARC or to walk what would be a fifteen-minute drive would be a whole day’s trip just to get groceries to last you through the week. But now the TARC might not be an option as they are shutting down many of its local services and practicing social distancing.

That’s why local organizers and community centers have taken the matter into their own hands. Every day starting Mar. 17 and ending Apr.3, the Shawnee Community Center (Mondays), Beechmont Community Center (Tuesdays), Sun Valley Community Center and the East Government Center (Wednesdays), Wilderness Road Senior Center (Thursdays), and Arthur S. Kling Center (Fridays) are giving away free meals to help the elderly and low-income families faced with the issue of food insecurity. Click here for an interactive map of the food sites. A total of 26,000 meals will be given away and each location is always looking for volunteers. So if you would like to join me and others with this project feel free because every little contribution counts! While we can’t physically be close right now, our togetherness is the only way we can overcome this.