Barriers to Healthy Food in Gresham's Rockwood Area

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The Coalition for Liveable Future white paper contains excellent analysis of the Rockwood Neighborhood food access system. It also contains interesting local demographics and other contextual issues. It does not contain information about community gardens.  Gardens are a critical component of a healthy food environment.


"Rockwood is the City of Gresham’s most densely populated neighborhood. Its residents experience significantly higher rates of poverty than most other neighborhoods in the region. Rockwood is also one of the most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the region. It has the 6th highest density per acre of populations of color of all neighborhoods in the four-county Portland metropolitan region, and the 2nd highest density per acre of Hispanic population.

The environment in Rockwood today does not support residents’ health. Analysis of the Regional Equity Atlas, community surveys, and focus groups revealed that many Rockwood residents have difficulty accessing healthy foods due to: (1) the limited availability of affordable, healthy food in the neighborhood; (2) the broad availability of unhealthy food; and (3) challenges that transit-dependent residents face in accessing sources of healthy food options outside of the neighborhood.

Consistent with national research showing the connection between lack of access to healthy food and disease rates, Rockwood residents experience higher rates of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease."