JUDY VALENTE, correspondent: Community activist Nat Turner is surveying a site people rarely see in the battered Ninth Ward of New Orleans. His community garden provides fruits and vegetables to people hard pressed to find fresh produce in these parts.
[NAT] TURNER: Anybody in the neighborhood can come by and some time this morning somebody’s going to stop by and say, “You got any okra? You got any Creole tomatoes? You got some bell peppers? You got whatever?” And some people just come by the garden and if they want to pick it themselves, they can pick it themselves.
VALENTE: New Orleans’ Ninth Ward is what the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls a “food desert.” Food deserts are communities with little or no access to healthy food. For the urban poor, here and elsewhere, grocery shopping is often limited to places like this: higher-priced local convenience stores that are short on fresh healthy food and long on snacks and liquor. The problem extends well beyond New Orleans.