While the city has a growing reputation as a food hub, there’s another food story that’s not going to be highlighted on a tourism website or in a brochure.
It’s the lack of access to fresh and healthy foods for many residents.
The city said most of its most impoverished residents live more than a mile from a grocery store. The areas are called “food deserts,” and parts of the city’s Ward 6 are classified as such.
In light of that, the city is seeking a person through the federal AmeriCorps VISTA program to spend a year working with the city and Hobart and William Smith Colleges to develop strategies to deal with those challenges. The city said the VISTA member “will work to assess food gaps and resources in Geneva and create strategies and explore opportunities that address food-access issues in the Geneva community.”
The VISTA, as they are called, also will help develop a long-term plan for the city’s Innovation Kitchen at the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on Genesee Street. The kitchen is rented by local food entrepreneurs to produce products. Caterers also utilize the space.