In this Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, photo, employees work at Growing Home, Inc's farm in Chicago's neighborhood of Englewood. Atlanta, Chicago and other large cities across the country are taking a multi-pronged approach to bringing healthy diets to "food deserts," mostly low-income neighborhoods located miles away from the nearest supermarket. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)

League of Cities to help South Fulton with food deserts, health equity

The city of South Fulton is one of the five cities chosen to be part of a National League of Cities group to fix issues of equity and health.

The Cities of Opportunities program will focus on the following issues: food deserts, environmental health and economic opportunity. 

Food deserts are a serious issue for the two-year-old city.

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The USDA has identified swaths of the city and southern Fulton County where a significant portion of the residents are low-income and are more than a mile from the nearest supermarket, making it a “food desert.” Parts of southwest Atlanta and northeast DeKalb join in that status.

This is the second time the National League of Cities has selected cities to help with these problems.

The first time was in 2018, when East Point Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham was co-chair for the NLC Council on Youth, Education, and Families. Atlanta was included in the first batch of cities.

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"The city’s plan focused on using city planning and design to create the policies, strategies and plans to support implementing urban agriculture, environmental health and community engagement projects," said South Fulton Councilwoman Naeema Gilyard.

Gilyard and others on the team will travel to Washington, D.C. in November so all the cities can work together.

The other cities selected are: 

• Dubuque, Iowa 

• Evanston, Illinois 

• Las Vegas, Nevada 

• Napa, California 

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