City hires a consultancy to investigate the food wasteland in northwest Jacksonville – Action News Jax
When it’s time to take a trip to the grocery store, the neighbors to northwest Jacksonville don’t have many options.
This part of the city is known as the “food desert” – a place where neighbors do not have access to healthy food.
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Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole examines the city’s approach to halting the problem.
“People live in poverty because they can’t afford to move out. That means we have to provide services,” said District 8 councilor Ju’Coby Pittman.
Pittman says these services include grocery stores.
In March and April, Action News Jax told you that a total of six grocery stores have permanently closed their doors and the people of northwest Jacksonville have fewer options.
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For reference, on Jacksonville’s Southside at the intersection of St. Johns Bluff Road and Beach Blvd., there are a total of 27 grocery stores within 5 miles, but there are only three grocery stores within 5 miles of Moncrief Road and Soutel Drive.
“It just didn’t start, it has been going on for several years,” said Pittman.
Now the city plans to work with the T. Brown Consulting Group to conduct a study to correct the problem.
There were two other companies interested in working with the City of Jacksonville on the study.
“I wouldn’t call it a study, but a help to real people with real problems,” Pittman told Action News Jax.
The proposal, sent to Cole by the city, aims to spend $ 139,000 on reviewing funding sources, reviewing current access to healthy food, and devising a remediation strategy.
The study is expected to be completed in March 2019.