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    Fruit Snacks and Food Deserts

    By Joel Daniels @JoelakaMaG | Illustration by Donte Neal

    I grew up in what Ron Finley would describe as a food desert. Little Debbie cakes, Kennedy Fried Chicken, $1 pizza slices, sour gummy worms, liquor stores, and churches; these are the things that make up my hood, my community. The other day Fordham Rd. had a street fair filled with bouncy castles, food vendors, and a table for the NYPD to set-up shop for community members to air their grievances. Pushing a sleeping toddler in a stroller, I thought of where my neighborhood stood prior to the gentrified air it is beginning to carry, the neighborhood with the consistent rumble of sirens and drive-by bullet noise, and marveled at the change, the shift — maybe this can be a place my daughter will feel safe in. And maybe she will. But, this is still the place where the closest thing to a healthy option is the Chipotle that is conveniently placed on the same strip of block as the newly built TJ Maxx and Starbucks adjacent to the Fordham University campus. Near my avenue exists bodegas, Chinese food, Burger King, Popeyes, and McDonald’s. The infrastructure that is the inner-city has created a food pyramid that is more dollar menu than it is farmers market.

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    Sister

    By Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez @priscadorcas

    I was home, the day after the election. I ran away, essentially.  I ran away from whiteness and straight into my mami’s arms, my papi's smiles, and my sister's kindness. I was hurting from the election, and I found myself in a bubble back home. My sister and I went out to dinner alone one night and we talked about life, love, and laughed so much we cried. I was in her world, locked away from Donald Trump and the suffocating whiteness of Nashville. I enjoyed it and needed it but it was not real, not for me, not anymore. And I wondered...

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