Heather Latino


White House Conference on Hunger Nutrition and Health, food insecurity, neighborhood markets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, urban gardens, food incubators, gentrification, supermarket redlining, diet-related disease, communities of color, black, hispanic

Document Type



In September 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration convened a White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (“conference”). Among the specific strategies outlined by the Administration is a directive that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) “increase access to neighborhood markets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, urban gardens, food incubators, and/or the conversion of vacant buildings into food hubs. . . .” While some may celebrate the Administration’s commitment to investing in low-income and underserved communities, others fear that these forms of intervention and reinvestment may worsen current disparities. Incentives for renovating or constructing local grocery stores have been criticized for inviting “gentrifying forces such as real estate developers and corporate chains” into lower-income Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Gentrification is generally understood as the process by which low-income communities are physically and culturally displaced from their homes and communities, typically as a result of increased real estate values, as higher-income populations move into areas undergoing revitalization. Part II of this article will explore the ways in which housing and food security are interrelated. Then Part III introduces the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which promises to leverage housing programs to increase food access. Part IV discusses gentrification as related to food access investments, laying the foundation for understanding why food access initiatives implemented in disinvested communities must include affordable housing safeguards. Part V provides a framework for evaluating food access initiatives to address concerns that food access investments invite gentrification, displacing the same populations who were supposed to benefit from such programs. Part V also offers examples of food access initiatives in public housing and HUD-assisted housing developments that can serve as models, inspiration, or offer lessons learned for future projects in disinvested communities.

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Food Security Commons