Dallas issues challenge aimed at solving food desert problem

The city of Dallas is asking for ideas to solve what it calls its “food desert” problem.

As part of the Food Idea Innovation Challenge, residents are asked to submit ideas on how to make locally grown, nutritious food available to everyone.

The city said 36% of people in Dallas live in a “food desert.” They don’t have easy access to grocery stores offering fresh fruits and vegetables.

"Rather than producing a solution from City Hall initially, we are first seeking ideas from our constituents,” said Laila Alequresh, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Dallas. “We look forward to co-creating solutions with our residents that cater to the challenges facing our communities. We are proud to partner with the Communities Foundation of Texas on this initiative.”

“Access to healthy food options should be available to all Dallas residents, regardless of their zip code,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson added.

If you think you have a solution, written submission forms can be found at Dallas Women, Infant and Children (WIC) centers, libraries and rec centers throughout the city.

Ideas can also be submitted online at dallasinnovationchallenge.ideascale.com/a/index by Nov. 21.

Members of the community will be allowed to vote for their favorite ideas and then city leaders and stakeholders will select a top proposal for a pilot program.