People who live in neighborhoods that lack full-service grocery stores have higher rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases. In Oakland:

  • There is a tremendous disparity in residents’ access to grocery stores—in Oakland’s poorer “flatland” neighborhoods there is 1 supermarket for every 93,216 residents, compared to the more affluent “hills” communities which have 1 supermarket per 13,778 residents.
  • East Oakland residents have disproportionately high rates of chronic disease—asthma, diabetes, obesity, mental disorder, emergency room visits, assaults and a teen birth twice as high as the county.
  • Oakland ranks second among cities in Alameda County with the highest rate of Emergency Department visits for mental health disorders.


YU opened an onsite primary health, mental health and wellness services clinic staffed by Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland. We provide individualized care for young people who are coping with violence, trauma, environmental toxins, and poverty. Our clinic has become the most high volume adolescent health clinic in Oakland with more than 3,000 visits each year. We also started Corners Café, our onsite restaurant/café that provides fresh and healthy food options to the community.

Moving Forward

We will continue to work closely with health care providers, Alameda County and other community stakeholders to increase access to vital services. This includes coordinating our student-led research teams for the implementation of school-based health centers at nearby middle schools. YU will also continue to engage policymakers and community stakeholders in expanding access to healthy foods in East Oakland neighborhoods.