Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun
May 11, 2010
City leaders named a "food czar" May 11 to lead the battle against poor eating habits that are linked to the intractable obesity epidemic and alarming levels of heart disease and diabetes in Baltimore's poorer neighborhoods.
As the city's new food policy director, Holly Freishtat will be responsible for improving demand and access to healthful foods. She joins just a few others with similar missions around the nation, including in New York and Boston."We want all of Baltimore to have healthier foods," said Freishtat, a sustainable food specialist and Baltimore native, whose position will be funded through nonprofit and business sources. "Culture is one piece; access is another."
Those in the poorest neighborhoods have had to depend on carryouts and corner stores for food because groceries have left in the last few decades.
Those residents now suffer the highest rates of heart disease, strokes and diabetes, according to a report also released Tuesday from the Baltimore City Food Policy Task Force.