I first learned about the topic my freshman year at Kansas State University while I was in LEAD 212. It was shocking to hear about how many families struggle to provide or even just attain food in a country with such abundant resources. I originally worked to collect food in and around Manhattan to provide for the local food pantry, the Manhattan Bread Basket. Later through my college career I would work with other community leaders in Manhattan and at K-State who were working to end food insecurity and provide healthy alternatives to the campus and the local food pantries and community led dinners.
I began looking at the photography by Ed Ruscha and how he documented cities and combined images to form one composition. The works that I looked at included his Twentysix Gasoline Stationsand Every Building on the Sunset Strip. I wanted to build off of this idea by taking a photo of every building and lot on Riley Avenue in Ogden, KS. I wanted to show what we typically see in a normal town and how we perceive it. Yet, when you take a closer look at the buildings and the spaces between them, you notice that there are only two stores along the main strip, Dollar General and Casey’s General Store.These places have food, however, most of the choices here are not healthy and they lack a lot of the basic foods you need. There is ample amount of space for a grocery store, yet the closest one is in Manhattan, KS which is a 30 - 40 minute drive in one direction depending on where you live. The question is, how can these vacant lots and abandoned buildings be filled in with amenities that are affordable and accessible to the community?