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Insurgent Ventures is a well being meals enterprise supported by Penn’s Netter Middle for Neighborhood Partnerships.

Credit score: Sophia Dai

The Philadelphia Division of Public Well being introduced final week the launch of the Philadelphia Meals Justice Initiative, a program which sponsors neighborhood initiatives to fight meals inequity.

The Meals Justice Initiative granted $180,000 to 6 initiatives picked from over 100 concepts pitched by neighborhood organizations, meals justice collectives, and start-ups starting in February, in accordance with The Philadelphia Tribune. 

Chosen initiatives embrace Mill Creek City Farm, a West Philadelphia neighborhood backyard which is able to present “meals entry and neighborhood therapeutic” and Insurgent Ventures, in accordance with The Tribune.

“The objective is to determine and help neighborhood pushed initiatives to advance meals justice,” Amanda Wagner, Program Supervisor for Diet and Bodily Exercise with the Philadelphia Division of Public Well being, instructed KYW Newsradio. 

Insurgent Ventures is a well being meals enterprise supported by Penn’s Netter Middle for Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2010, a gaggle of eighth graders at Pepper Center Faculty got here up with the concept to promote a wholesome snack to their neighborhood. Their “insurgent crumbles,” a nutritious breakfast pastry, which comprises a half cup fruit and 32 grams of complete grain, are bought in metropolis shops and provided as a wholesome various at native public colleges.

“Wholesome, nutritious meals is difficult to seek out, it’s costly, particularly the stuff that’s scrumptious that youngsters actually need to eat. And the other, the scrumptious unhealthy meals that’s probably not serving to them by way of their well being, is very easy to seek out,” Insurgent ventures co-director Jarrett Stein instructed WHYY. “We need to be the change in our neighborhood.” 

The excessive schoolers behind Insurgent Ventures work alongside Penn undergrads and school to design and market their merchandise. Insurgent Ventures plan to make use of the $42,000 from the Meals Justice Initiative to open “Insurgent Markets,” well being meals markets round Philadelphia, in accordance with The Philadelphia Tribune.

“Our objective is just not solely to promote what we already make, our Crumbles, however we needed to offer our future prospects different wholesome options, similar to smoothies and different good, scrumptious, wholesome meals,” William Chaney, a sophomore at Freire Constitution Faculty, who works on human sources and social media for Insurgent Ventures instructed The Netter Middle in March 2019.

A September 2019 examine, performed by the Philadelphia Division of Public Well being, confirmed that neighborhoods with the bottom median earnings have on common 28% fewer high-produce provide shops per capita compared to wealthier areas. 

In these neighborhoods, low-produce provide shops similar to 7-Eleven and Wawa not solely comprise the spine of resident’s diets but in addition outnumber more healthy options “by nearly 7 to 1,” in accordance with the examine.

Because of this, roughly 13% of Philadelphia residents have “no or low entry” to retailers with wholesome choices and high quality produce, similar to supermarkets, produce shops, or farmers markets.