What exactly is Health Equity?

Health equity means that everyone has a FAIR and JUST opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

How is it affecting our community?

Data from 2014-2018 shows that there were approximately four grocery stores located in Burlington City. Fresh To Go Food Market, a limited-service retail store, located in the heart of New Yorkshire is currently closed. Burlington Supermarket, a limited, superette, store, is also currently closed. Super Speedy Mart is a superette, limited-service convenience store, located at a gas station. Dollar General, which was also listed, closed in 2018 and is being reopened later this year. However, this store is located on the outskirts of the city across a major highway. Currently, there is a Save-A-Lot, which is also located on the outskirts of the city across a major highway and also closed. This is not convenient for the many families in the city who rely on walking, biking, or public transportation. A mini-mart has opened on Broad Street in the city. This store does not sell fresh produce. This store sells prepackaged goods, snacks, and overpriced staples such as milk and bread.

What can we do to fix the issue of healthy equity in our community?

Food insecurity is “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.” Sometimes this is only a temporary situation, but it can also be long term. Lack of access to fresh produce in Burlington City places a substantial burden on our community through health care and social costs. People experiencing food insecurity often consume a nutrient-poor diet, which may contribute to the development of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. 

The Opportunity League plans to work over the next coming month to address this issue by opening VILLAGES Community Marketplace, a full-service grocery store that provides access to fresh food and produce to our community. Make sure to look out for more upcoming news. 


Written by: Sherley Hinds-Gomez