Residents in the far south side of Bexar County say access to fresh foods and produce is scarce. They call the area a “dead zone” for a healthy diet.
“There’s no HEB around here. I have to go to the Dollar General, you know, to buy the stuff that I need,” said Juanita Soto.
Soto is raising her three grandchildren in her mobile home on her own. She and many others in the south side of San Antonio say they are limited to a nutritious diet. The Dollar General on the long stretch of Highway 281 is where they grocery shop.
“You’re just stuck with what’s at the dollar general and that’s not really healthy,” said Penny. “”I, myself, am diabetic. What do you have out here that’s nutritious for us? You know, it’s unhealthy.”
Their meals consist of frozen or fast food and canned goods.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve actually been able to give vegetables and stuff to the kids or anything healthy like this.”
People like Pamela Allen with Eagles Flight Advocacy & Outreach try to bridge the gap. They serve hundreds of families with similar stories.
“They don’t have the fresh produce, they don’t have the things that they need just to have a healthy meal and that’s alarming,” said Allen.
During the holidays, she helps struggling families by filling their plates and pantries with healthy food. Allen says the demand is greater than she can supply.
“When I come in, I feel like a little band-aid trying to be put on this gaping hole because it’s big,” said Allen.