food desert

Michelle Maternowski

A low-income neighborhood on Milwaukee's near north side turns a corner Friday. Residents and planners are celebrating the grand opening of the Innovation and Wellness Commons in Lindsay Heights.

Activists have implemented numerous improvements in the area in recent years. But the Commons is their first commercial venture.

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin

Mobile food pantries target neighborhoods classified as food deserts by bringing residents fresh produce and meat. They have been roving around the Madison region since 2004.

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin coordinates the program there. Organization spokesperson Kris Tazelaar says the pantry trucks pull up alongside churches, community centers and even into empty parking lots.

Ann-Elise Henzl

There are a number of efforts underway in Milwaukee to supply fresh food to areas that are not near a large grocery store.

In 2011, Growing Power's Will Allen had this to say about Lake Effect contributor Kyle Cherek:

"Eating food is what we all have in common. It’s important that everyone has access to the same good food, regardless of their economic standing. This is about social justice. Kyle gets this."

It was a very nice thing to say, but two years later, Cherek isn't quite so sure he did get it: