Wendell Pierce Attacks New Orleans’ “Food Desert” Problem

There are a plethora of economic and social issues facing African-Americans in New Orleans that have been exasperated since Hurricane Katrina. However, actor Wendell Pierce, known for his role on HBO's The Wire, has taken action to address the nutritional needs of the city's disadvantaged.

Via The Grio:

After Hurricane Katrina devastated this city in 2005, Pierce seized an opportunity to help his childhood neighborhood — Pontchartrain Park, an historic enclave for middle-class blacks — get back on its feet. He started the nonprofit Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp. with a goal of replacing hundreds of flood-ravaged, 1950s-era houses with new homes.

Now, the next item in his recovery recipe is a long-missing ingredient.

Pierce, 50, and his partners are investing big in something seemingly so small: convenient access to a grocery store. They have launched a chain of convenience stores, Sterling Express, and a full-service grocery store, called Sterling Farms, the latter just unveiled in what is often described as a “food desert,” a neighborhood where residents must travel more than a mile to a store selling fresh food. According to 2011 data, 19 percent of all Orleans Parish households have no access to a vehicle.




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