Food Desert Solution: New York's Green Carts

Compelling portraits of how the invasion of green umbrellas in New York City changed the city's food deserts.

In 2008, New York City introduced Green Carts, the centerpiece of its effort to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to the city's food deserts. The hope was that produce-poor neighborhoods would welcome the invasion of green umbrellas. Vendors would sell more bananas, apples, grapes, and leafy greens. In the long run, increased access could mean more consumption, and more consumption could help reverse the alarming rise in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Almost three years later, there's more than 400 carts. As Oran B. Hesterman writes in his new book, Fair Food: "The Green Carts project seems to be working and is a model that can certainly be replicated elsewhere."

The project also spawned a photography exhibit, "Moveable Feasts," currently on display at the Museum of the City of New York. It features work from five emerging photographers: LaToya Ruby Frazier, Thomas Holton, Gabriele Stabile, Will Steacy, and Shen Wei, who chronicled the neighborhoods affected by this remarkable program. Together, the images document the compelling problems within food deserts and one city's attempt to solve it.

Top photo: Will Steacy; bottom photo: Gabriele Stabile, via Aperature Foundation.