McDonald’s In East Palo Alto (By Emma)

    McDonald’s is located in the north and south of East Palo Alto. This fact may not seem neither very interesting, nor very relevant. After all, everyone knows to eat healthy, right? Who would go to McDonald’s every day, even if it is convenient? However, East Palo Alto is a food desert. This means that there isn’t much access to healthy food, causing people to resort to fast food. Though a farmers market was created in East Palo Alto, many people still eat McDonald’s. East Palo Altans need more nutritional food options.


    It seems obvious that people should just go to the farmers market. However, McDonald’s is cheap. Even though people with low income get forty dollars worth of food, what if you have higher income than the standard? You still probably want to save money. Also, even though your income is above the standard, it doesn’t mean that you have much money. It just means that you have enough to get by. McDonald’s is selling twenty chicken nuggets for one dollar. That’s cheap, so it draws people in. Most people who are struggling with financial issues therefore think that McDonald’s is the better choice.


McDonald’s is also advertising healthier food. Imagine you go to McDonald’s, and love their food. Then you see the advertisements that say that McDonald’s has healthy food. If you felt guilty about going to McDonald’s before, you might not now. After all, McDonald’s has healthy food, so you aren’t being unhealthy. Even though McDonald’s is actually quite unhealthy, this advertisement has misled you. Therefore, you will probably continue your visits to McDonald’s.


As mentioned earlier, there are two McDonald’s in East Palo Alto. One is in the north of town, and the other is in the south. This makes McDonald’s accessible to East Palo Altans. Since the food tastes so good, many East Palo Altans go to McDonald’s. Since it is so easy to get there, people can go there often, therefore eating too much fast food. There is nothing to stop them.


McDonald’s cannot simply be eliminated, however. What about all of the people who work there? Most of them get a job there because they can’t get one anywhere else. If McDonald’s was eliminated, where would those people go? It’s not like they can get a job somewhere else. Also, since many of those people have financial trouble, they need the money that McDonald’s gives them. They can’t just drop out of work! Infact, about 0.4% of East Palo Altans work at McDonald’s. Unless those people were given another job, McDonald’s cannot go out of business.


There is a solution, however. Everything that makes McDonald’s convenient could also apply to another restaurant. This one, however would serve healthy food. A nutritional restaurant could be built next to each McDonald’s in East Palo Alto. This way, the restaurants would be just as accessible as the McDonald’s they were next to. The restaurant would also be cheap. This way many people could come and get the healthy food without worrying about the cost. If the restaurant was cheap, however, there would need to be few employees so that the restaurant could afford all of them. The people who work at McDonald’s could be offered a job at the new restaurant, but they wouldn’t be forced to go. That way there would be fewer employees to find and hire.


If someone wanted to go to McDonald’s in East Palo Alto, they might see the restaurant next to McDonald’s. The restaurant would offer healthier choices, so people would be more inclined to go there. They could switch to a healthier restaurant without driving somewhere new! This would be a good way to get the restaurant known, too. Since the people who go to McDonald’s are some of the people who are eating the most fast food, it would be a good way to show them a healthier place when they drive up to McDonalds.

This plan, while being a helpful one, is not very practical. It would require community funds to have the money build the restaurants. People would need to take the time to build the restaurants, and to run them. There would also be people needed to work at the restaurants, and there would need to be food to supply the restaurants. East Palo Alto would have to want to have two restaurants built, as well as to have funds spent on them. Also, the plan is not 100% proven to work. If East Palo Alto could raise the funds, then the restaurants could be built and operated. However, if an opportunity does arise to help bring more nutrition into a food desert, find out how to help. The world never has too much help.

By: City-Data

Published: 2012

Title: “East Palo Alto, California”


This source was helpful because it helped me find the population of East Palo Alto. I needed to know that because I needed to know what percent of people are employed by McDonald’s in East Palo Alto. However, the information wasn’t very powerful when I did find it out, so this source didn’t have a large impact on my essay.


By: momof6, jp, ashley_p89, Ashley (these are screen names), Yahoo Answers

Published: 2008

Title: “How many people does it take to run an average McDonalds and what are the positions?”


This source gave me the information that I needed to find, which was how many people it takes to run an average McDonald’s. It helped me figure out the percentage of people employed at McDonald’s in East Palo Alto. However, all of the answers were different, and they were from people who didn’t work at McDonald’s. This meant that they weren’t entirely reliable, and I had to look for the most common answer. Once I figured out the percentage, the information wasn’t very powerful. This source didn’t help me with my essay a lot, only a little bit.


By: Mae Anderson, CTV News

Published: October 21, 2013

Title: “McDonald’s posts 5% gain in Q3; revenue misses Wall Street view”



This article gave me information on why McDonald’s may appear desirable and what they are doing to market their food. It had a large impact on my essay, because I needed to explain why East Palo Altans go to McDonald’s.


By: McDonald’s

Published: 2014

Title: “Restaurants Locations Results”



This source was helpful because it told me if there were McDonald’s in East Palo Alto and if so, where they were. That information had a large impact on my essay and my solution, but not a huge one.


By: Elena Kadvany, Palo Alto Weekly

Published: Saturday, September 7, 2013

Title: “East Palo Altans work to fix ‘food desert’”


This source was helpful because it gave more information on food deserts, and that East Palo Alto was one. It also gave me an idea of what was being done to help East Palo Alto. However, it didn’t give me the specific information I was looking for- McDonald’s in East Palo Alto.

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  • Niav Layton

    This was a very interesting article that has helped me understand how we could help East palo alto. I agree with emma, the idea of opening up a new restaurant with healthier options, but is still cheap is impractical, though it is worth it. Thanks for the great article!
    – Niav

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