Tag cloud

« CRAZY TOWN | Main | Indigenous Real Estate »

COMMENTARY: Food Desert in a Ski Town?

My subject today is the lack of affordable, healthy, food in the resort town of Telluride, Colorado.

I've talked recently about the failure of our new regional transit authority, SMART, to provide usable transit to nearby affordable housing and how poor wastewater planning is limiting that housing.

The food issue goes to these same decent living points in an elitist town.

Telluride is not a food desert in the typical urban, inner city, sense- quality food is available here, but the cost is prohibitively high for many and the comparison, though not exact, is relevant.

Audio Link

The Clark's chain does provide several items at a reasonable cost, including many produce offerings. If you have a car you can drive to Montrose or Cortez, a 3 hour round trip drive that will cost $15 or more in carbon producing gas.

Telluride does have a Farmer's Market, but the prices are high. Under the previous director the Farmer's Market had a SNAP/Food Stamp matching program which benefited a few, including myself. That program was not continued under the current manager, Jessie Rae Arguelles, under a Kris Holstrom 'SWIRL' contract from the Town of Telluride. Options to make quality food accessible to the average working person here have not been explored.

Here's Jessie Rae making a strange arguement against affordable housing measures at a recent Town Council meeting by making these prices higher.

We're trying to be more inclusive, create all these opportunities for affordable housing and, you know, we're making it more exclusive. So it's a delicate balance of how we are effecting change, where this money is coming from. Yes, there's money there we could get, but this is not, I believe, the right way to go about it.

I don't think this philosophy, or the analysis, are appropriate for the Market Manager. Healthy food should not be something only accessible to the 1%.

Healthy food does cost more and adjusting our priorities is part of the solution. The average US consumer spends less than 7% of their income on food while France and Italy are around 14%, more than double.

Part of the reason unhealthy food is so cheap is the reliance on environmentally destructive oil and gas whose real costs are being passed onto future generations. We are not only poisoning ourselves with cheap food, we are poisoning the planet.

Mountain Village, which a few years ago did not have a grocery store is addressing the problem.

TMVOA, the Town of Mountain Village Owners Association, has commenced eviction proceedings against the Mountain Market, for failing to meet affordability provisions.

Even better, Michelle Haynes, the Planning and Development Director for Mountain Village has created a subsidized CSA, Community Supported Agriculture program which brought healthy food to some 40 Mountain Village residents, mostly in VCA.

This program is run under contract by the new Norwood Food Hub which is also just now starting regular Telluride area delivery service.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Tag cloud


July 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Powered by Movable Type 3.35
Hosted by LivingDot
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Add to Technorati Favorites