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Planting a healthier future

From a half-acre farm in Florissant, Missouri, Tyrean “Heru” Lewis works to combat food insecurity in the community he grew up in- St. Louis.

Lewis is one of many Black St. Louisians working to bring nutrition into the community- he works with a network of markets, vendors and volunteers to make it happen.  

The city experienced 270 homicides on the last year, 70% of which occurred in low-income census tracts without access to a grocery store within a half-mile. 

Research, including that from the St. Louis Dept. of Health shows that food insecurity is tied to rates of physical and mental health issues, which, in turn can lead to higher rates of violence in these communities. 

To Lewis, these areas are “Food Apartheids,” rather than the often-used term - food deserts. “I say ‘apartheid’ because a desert is natural,” says Lewis. “This was created on purpose.” 

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