As the population of Sacramento continues to increase, developers take the opportunity to accommodate to the needs of new residents. New apartment complexes, businesses and restaurants pop up seemingly out of nowhere. As land is bought and built on, the communities that have already existed are usually also seen as development opportunities themselves, or neglected.
While new coming communities abundantly thriving, the communities that have previously resided are still being systematically underserved. Many low income neighborhoods do not have access to food, well higher-income areas have a variety of restaurants and grocery stores to choose from.
Approximately half of Sacramento is classified as a food desert, an area in which residents must travel more than 1 mile get to a full-size grocery store. All deserts are historically underserved communities, and no higher income area is classified as as one. A food desert can be a food desert for generations, however the arrival of more food options is not always a good thing. New restaurants and food trends are almost always used to gentrify lower-income areas.
The attention trendy restaurants and cute coffee shops brings to an area act as gateways for further development, while not treating the issues in a community, but rather slowly increasing them and pushing residents out. Residents who are pushed out of their respective communities are often pushed further back, into areas that are still lacking in resources, which only increases the size of a food desert.
This of course also increases the rates of homelessness, throughout the city. Back in the wealthier communities, food becomes increasingly accessible with restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and stores are evenly spaced all around, while a few miles down there is only one grocery store in the radius of several miles.
Generally the only food accessible are fast food chains, corner and liquor stores. The lack of healthy food options leads to increases in health problems within entire communities, such as diabetes, addiction, cancer and other diet-related illnesses. not to mention that these communities are often ones that are not close to medical care providers.
Food deserts are not just an inconvenience, they are a form of systematic oppression through under serving. In Sacramento, communities that are considered food deserts are all communities that consists primarily of people of color. Most of South Sac, and parts of North Sac are the biggest areas according to this map.