Here Are All Of The US’s Largest Food Deserts
- Food deserts in New York are caused by a variety of variables that work in conjunction with one another. When competing against a large number of nearby fast food restaurants, grocery stores generally have low profit margins. In addition to this, limited space in the city makes it difficult to expand the business. Full-service supermarkets are finding it increasingly difficult to remain profitable in the face of rising rent rates. The size of the impacted population is as follows: Due to a shift in research focus in recent years away from researching food deserts explicitly and toward other variables that impact nutrition, as well as the underlying causes of deserts, it is difficult to obtain up-to-date figures. In 2008, the New York Department of City Planning discovered that 3 million city inhabitants live in a food desert, according to the report. In addition, there has been a significant increase in the number of fast food restaurants in New York City, notably in Brooklyn, between 2000 and 2014. In recent years, the phrase “food swamp” has been increasingly popular, referring to places where there is a disproportionate number of fast food and convenience businesses in comparison to grocery stores. While it is difficult to estimate the present amount of New York’s food desert, overall trends indicate that unhealthy food alternatives are becoming more prevalent in places other than traditional grocery shops. The ramifications are as follows: The Bronx is the neighborhood most adversely affected by New York City’s food deserts. Between the Bronx, one of the poorest districts in the country, and Manhattan, which is one of the wealthiest, the Harlem River serves as the only physical barrier between the two. The majority of Bronx inhabitants are compelled to shop at neighborhood corner stores, which provide a limited range of fresh vegetables and fruit. The discrepancy in health amongst the boroughs is revealed by the health statistics. Residents in the Bronx had the highest rate of diabetes-related mortality in all of New York City, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Efforts to make improvements include: MomsRising.org, a Bronx-based nonprofit, is working to make it easier for children to get access to nutritious foods. Two of the group’s primary objectives are to ensure that schools deliver nutritious meals and to increase the availability of fresh produce. In addition, the city has launched initiatives such as “Moooove to 1 percent Milk” and “Move to Fruits and Vegetables,” among others. As a result of the large number of inhabitants who rely entirely on bodegas for their meals, these organizations campaign for corner stores to stock fresh produce and 1 percent milk. The following are the root causes of the food desert: Beginning in the late 1990s, local grocery store chains that had previously dominated the market in Georgia began to see their sales decline as national retailers such as Walmart and Publix entered the market. These venues provided lesser costs as well as a larger assortment. Big retailers forced many small grocery businesses in low-income areas out of business, depriving those communities’ citizens of access to nutritious food alternatives in their communities. The size of the impacted population is as follows: As research switches from examining causes to analyzing consequences, numbers are typically from 2015 to 2016, although they still provide a sense of the magnitude of the desert in general. According to a 2015 analysis conducted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, about 2 million Georgia citizens (including around 500,000 children) live in what might be described as a food desert, according to the newspaper. According to a research conducted in 2016, there are a total of 35 food deserts in and around the city of Atlanta. The ramifications are as follows: In low-income communities, fast food businesses have taken the role of grocery shops. McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants were the go-to meal alternative for urban people who had difficulty going to a grocery shop that was out of walking distance. Because Georgians do not have access to inexpensive healthful food, they are more likely than the general population to be significantly overweight. Increased obesity rates (from 30.7 to 31.4 percent between 2016 and 2017), as well as mortality from obesity-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, have all been on the increase in recent years. Improving conditions requires more than just building a grocery store in these food deserts
- Individuals must also be taught how to eat more healthfully as part of the process. Many projects have been launched in the city of Atlanta to improve how the inhabitants of the city think about food. There was a community garden movement in the late 1990s that resulted in the establishment of 300 community gardens around the city region. A large number of homeowners learnt how to cultivate their own veggies and fruit in their backyards. Bringing in charity groups that supplied Georgians with fresh food at reasonable costs was another option. The goal of these non-profit organizations was to make nutritious food more accessible to everyone in the state. Additionally, local grocery stores began stocking a greater variety of organic items. The following are the root causes of the food desert: In Detroit, there is a severe scarcity of public transit choices, making it tough to drive out of your way in order to get to the food store if you don’t have access to a vehicle. While Detroit’s economy has experienced some progress in recent years, the city’s poverty rate continues to be extremely high. Large-scale food stores in various parts of the city find it tough to compete as a result. The size of the impacted population is as follows: According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, there were 19 communities in the city of Detroit that might be categorized as food deserts as of the year 2018. An additional problem is that, according to a 2017 research, approximately 30,000 households do not have access to a full-service grocery shop. The ramifications are as follows: Obesity rates in Detroit are significantly higher than the national norm, with 30.8 percent of individuals in the city classified as obese. Low-income persons, particularly those who live in food deserts, are the most likely to be obese. Throughout addition, the prevalence of diabetes is increasing in the metropolis. Efforts to make improvements include: Detroit has risen to prominence as a hotspot for eating alternatives, to the point that some argue that the term “food desert” should be discarded entirely. Planting farms in urban areas have experienced a significant surge in recent years in the metropolis. There have been several successful city farm projects, like the Michigan Farming Initiative, Keep Growing Detroit, and the Detroit Black Community, that have made fresh food available at affordable pricing to low-income communities. Residents in Detroit who qualify for food assistance programs can take advantage of a profusion of options. Many of these initiatives have been established to assist those who are in need of assistance. Aside from that, there were between 77 and 155 food stores recorded in the United States in 2017. Despite the fact that the city does not have any large chain shops, there are now numerous smaller food stores that are prospering in urban areas, which might contribute to a reduction in the number of food deserts in the coming years. The following are the root causes of the food desert: Unfortunately, many big grocery stores and other food companies have been forced to close their doors in many Chicago areas as a result of the current economic climate. The size of the impacted population is as follows: It is difficult to determine the exact number of current Chicago food deserts due to shifting study priorities that emphasize cause variables rather than the size of deserts, as well as fluctuating definitions of the word. According to studies conducted in 2006, approximately 500,000 Chicago residents (majority of whom were African Americans) lived in food deserts, with one-third of those inhabitants being children. According to a survey conducted in 2011, the nearest grocery shop was nearly twice as far away as the nearest fast food outlet was. It had been officially classified a food desert in a total of 22 Chicago neighborhoods by the year 2017. The ramifications are as follows: The state of Illinois has the 18th highest adult obesity prevalence in the US, according to a 2017 research, while the city of Chicago has obesity rates over 30%. It is very prevalent in Chicago to suffer from obesity-related health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Efforts to make improvements include: Food justice campaigners have expanded the number of food co-ops that have been established in parts of the city where supermarkets have been unable to remain in business. Fresh organic fruit, veggies, and whole grains are available for purchase at the co-ops. Some of the co-ops even provide lessons that are specifically geared toward nutrition and the preparation of nutritious meals. Additional legislation was enacted in 2017 with the signature of Chicago’s governor, Bruce Rauner. The act established a legal requirement that the state Department of Agriculture do a comprehensive study on the health consequences of all food deserts in the state of Illinois.
10 American Food Deserts Where It Is Impossible To Eat Healthily
Food deserts in New York are caused by a variety of variables that work in conjunction. When competing against a large number of nearby fast food restaurants, grocery stores generally have low profit margins. In addition to this, limited space in the city makes it difficult to expand. Full-service supermarkets are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat as rents rise. Number of people afflicted by the disease: Due to a shift in research focus in recent years away from researching food deserts explicitly and toward other variables that impact nutrition, as well as the underlying causes of deserts, it is difficult to get up-to-date figures.
Additionally, between 2000 and 2014, the number of fast food restaurants in New York City, notably in Brooklyn, increased significantly.
- The present amount of New York’s food desert is difficult to estimate, but overall trends indicate that unhealthy food alternatives are becoming more prevalent in places outside than conventional supermarkets.
- The Bronx is the area of New York City that is most afflicted by food deserts.
- Local corner stores with a limited range of fresh vegetables and fruit are where most Bronx residents must buy for their food.
- Residents in the Bronx have the highest rate of diabetes-related mortality in the whole city of New York, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- In the Bronx, a non-profit group called MomsRising.org aims to make nutritious meals readily available for children.
- Additional initiatives include “Moooove to 1 percent Milk” and “Move to Fruits and Vegetables,” both of which are sponsored by the city.
- Causing the food desert is a combination of factors including Several local grocery store companies that had previously dominated the Georgia market began to see their sales decline when large national chains such as Walmart and Publix entered the market.
Big merchants forced out of business many of the smaller grocery stores in impoverished districts, depriving those communities’ citizens of access to nutritious food alternatives in their own neighborhoods.
Almost 2 million Georgia citizens (including approximately 500,000 children) live in what might be considered a food desert, according to a 2015 analysis conducted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The ramifications are as follows.
Local fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s were the go-to meal alternative for urban people who had difficulty going to a grocery shop that wasn’t within walking distance of home.
During the two-year period 2016-2017, obesity rates increased from 30.7 percent to 31.4 percent, and mortality from obesity-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease also increased.
Many projects have been launched in Atlanta in an attempt to shift public perceptions on food.
Numerous residents learnt how to cultivate vegetables and fruits in their own backyards.
Healthy food was the goal of these non-profit organizations in their efforts to make it more widely available throughout the state.
Causing the food desert is a combination of factors including In Detroit, there is a severe scarcity of public transit choices, making it tough to go a long distance in order to get to the food store if you don’t have access to a vehicle.
Large-scale food businesses in various parts of the city find it difficult to survive as a result.
Apart from that, an investigation conducted in 2017 discovered that over 35,000 people in the area lack access to a full-service grocery store The ramifications are as follows.
Weight problems are more prevalent among low-income people, particularly those living in food deserts.
Making improvements involves a variety of strategies.
Planting farms in urban areas have witnessed a significant surge in the city.
There are also a variety of food aid programs accessible to qualifying residents of the Detroit area.
Aside from that, there were between 77 and 155 food outlets recorded in the year 2017.
Causing the food desert is a combination of factors including Because of the bad economic climate in many Chicago areas, several big grocery stores and other food enterprises have been forced to close their doors.
Over 500,000 Chicago people (primarily African Americans) lived in food deserts in 2006, with one-third of those inhabitants being children, according to studies from that year.
It had been officially proclaimed a food desert in 22 Chicago neighborhoods by the year 2017.
The state of Illinois has the 18th highest adult obesity prevalence in the US, according to a 2017 research, while the city of Chicago has obesity rates that are over 30%.
Making improvements involves a variety of strategies.
Fresh organic fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are available for purchase at the cooperatives.
House Bill 3157 was also passed into law by Chicago’s governor, Bruce Rauner, last year. In accordance with the Act, the state Department of Agriculture is required to do a comprehensive study on the health consequences of all food deserts in the state of Illinois.
The Duwamish River in Seattle needs more Stockbox Grocers
USDA.gov The Pacific Northwest is well-known as a gastronomic utopia, but outside of downtown Seattle, residents of Washington state are having difficulty finding a grocery to meet their needs. Particularly desolate are the sections around the Duwamish River, where residents of the community of South Park have turned to fishing in the dirty river for their sustenance. When compared to the rest of the county, the life expectancy in this area is five years shorter. As a result of this development, the first Stockbox Grocers were established: food stores housed in repurposed storage containers that are simple to supply and simple to put up in easily accessible locations.
The Lower Ninth Ward hasn’t had a supermarket since Katrina
USDA.gov Washington’s people are having difficulty locating supermarkets outside of the city of Seattle, despite the fact that the Pacific Northwest is recognized as a “foodie heaven.” Particularly desolate are the sections around the Duwamish River, where residents of the community of South Park have turned to fishing in the dirty river to supplement their food supplies. When compared to the rest of the county, the average life expectancy is five years less here. Stockbox Grocers, which are grocery shops housed in repurposed storage containers that are simple to supply and simple to put up in easily accessible locations, first arose in this region.
The South and West sides of Chicago are chock full of fast food, not produce
USDA.gov In Chicago, around 500,000 people, the overwhelming majority of whom are black, live in food deserts, which include much of the city’s South Side. As well as being self-defeating, the food alternatives available are limited: in a typical African-American neighborhood, the nearest grocery store is nearly twice as far away as the nearest fast-food restaurant. Diseases such as diabetes and cancer are common in the city’s underprivileged areas as a result of the massive dietary imbalance.
Half of Atlanta’s many poor people live in a desert
USDA.gov Lower-income residents of Atlanta, Georgia, bear the brunt of the food desert’s effects the most. Almost any location outside of rich areas may be considered a food desert by definition. High-income inhabitants have equal access to fresh food and fast food, according to a research conducted by the Atlanta Regional Commission. Low-income citizens, on the other hand, only have half as much access. The citizens of Atlanta are mobilizing at the grassroots level to address this issue. Taking the example of the Atlanta Local Food Initiative, which tackles food deserts from the perspectives of economics, the environment, and health all at the same time.
Memphis is America’s hungriest city
USDA.gov The city with the highest rate of hunger in the country is dealing with a food desert crisis. Food banks that used to feed the populace are now nearly completely depleted, and the grocery stores that people used to frequent are now either shuttered or inadequately supplied. According to the Tennessee Food Trust, about 13 percent of the state’s census tracts are classified as food deserts, a problem that affects the whole state.
For a city that has seen minimal reaction from major grocery chains, additional options to examine include the developing farmers market scene in areas such as South Memphis and Midtown, as well as ensuring that the markets take EBT cards at the time of purchase.
Minneapolis is half food desert
USDA.gov Twin cities of food deserts, Minneapolis and St. Paul are located in the Midwest. Almost half of Minneapolis, as well as a third of St. Paul, was classified as a food desert in 2006. It is made worse by the fact that one in every five Twin City inhabitants does not have access to a vehicle, making it difficult to go to the regions where supermarkets and food shops are located. The Twin Cities area is waging a fierce campaign against the problem of food deserts, which has contributed to a 25 percent increase in obesity among present inhabitants.
Hunters Point in San Francisco had to rely on fast food for decades
USDA.gov Food deserts in San Francisco include the communities of Bayview, Visitacion Valley, and Hunters Point, where locals had their first taste of a grocery store in more than two decades after living without one for more than two decades. Several supermarket corporations have previously declined to locate a presence in the historically impoverished and predominantly black area. Other communities, such as Oakland and Richmond, are still waiting for assistance. Residents of San Francisco’s food deserts will have to rely on fast food diets or travel long distances to find a better alternative until outlets like FreshEasy become more commonly available.
Detroit had to resort to potato chips
USDA.gov Detroit is a sorry state of affairs. To make matters worse, more than 550,000 Detroit citizens – more than half the city – live in food deserts, as if severe unemployment and a depressed housing market weren’t enough. As a result, what happened? Detroit has surpassed all other cities in the globe in terms of potato chip consumption. The fact that “fringe shops,” such as petrol stations and dollar stores, are more likely than “mainstream retailers,” such as chain supermarkets, to accept EBT and food stamps is a contributing factor to the problem.
Stockboxes have the potential to be really useful in this situation as well.
East New York is a swath of food desert – if you ask New Yorkers
The USDA deems New York City to have a low number of food deserts, although the city’s government disagrees. USDA.gov When you inquire about New York City’s food deserts, you may receive conflicting statements from the federal and municipal governments. Food deserts are home to around three million individuals according to the administration of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Even though the USDA estimates a far smaller number, they consider corner businesses with a deli counter (” bodegas “) as grocery stores.
In order to combat the problem of food deserts, New Yorkers are working to improve transit networks as well as embrace the farmers’ market scene to its fullest.
Although communities such as Canarsie, Hunts Point, and East New York have been identified as food deserts by the USDA, it is unclear whether they will receive the attention they need in the future.
Camden is living with just one supermarket
New York City’s food deserts are considered minimal by the USDA, but local officials are not so convinced. USDA.gov The federal and local governments may have different perspectives on the issue of food deserts in New York City, so be sure to ask both! Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s administration estimates that there are around three million individuals who are living in food deserts. In fact, the USDA estimates a far smaller number, but they classify corner businesses with an attached deli counter (” bodegas “) as grocery stores.
New Yorkers are combating the problem of food deserts by upgrading transit infrastructure and by participating fully in the farmers’ market scene.
Exploring America’s Food Deserts
The Annie E. Casey Foundation published a notice on February 13, 2021.
What is a food desert?
Geographic areas where individuals have few to no easy choices for obtaining economical and healthful meals — particularly fresh fruits and vegetables — are known as food deserts. Food deserts, which are disproportionately prevalent in high-poverty regions, offer additional, everyday obstacles that can make it more difficult for children, families, and communities to develop healthy and strong.
Where are food deserts located?
Food deserts are more likely in places that have the following characteristics:
- Smaller populations
- Greater rates of abandoned or unoccupied dwellings
- Inhabitants with lower levels of education, lower incomes, and higher rates of unemployment
- And residents with lower levels of education, lower incomes, and higher rates of unemployment
According to a 2014 research conducted by Johns Hopkins University, food deserts are also a disproportionate reality for Black communities in the United States. The study compared census tracts in the United States with similar poverty levels and discovered that, in urban areas, Black communities had the fewest supermarkets, while white communities had the most, and multiracial communities fell in the middle of the supermarket count spectrum, according to the findings.
How are food deserts identified?
When diagnosing food deserts, researchers take a number of criteria into consideration, including:
- Access to food, as measured by the distance between a store and a residence or by the number of stores in a neighborhood
- Resources available to a household, such as family income or the availability of a vehicle
- Resource availability in the area, such as the average income of residents and the availability of public transit
One method used by the United States Department of Agriculture to identify food deserts is to look for census tracts with low income and limited access to food. To go to the nearest supermarket or food shop in low-access census tracts, a considerable proportion of inhabitants (33 percent or more) must drive an unpleasant distance (at least 1 mile in urban areas and 10 miles in rural areas). In low-income census tracts, the local poverty rate is at least 20%, and the median family income is at most 80% of the statewide median family income, according to the United States Census Bureau.
Mapping food deserts in the United States
The Food at Home study by Enterprise Community Partners is the source of this information.
How many Americans live in food deserts?
According to the USDA’s most recent food access study report, released in 2017, about 39.5 million people — or 12.8 percent of the country’s population — were living in low-income and low-access regions.
There were 19 million persons in this category, according to the researchers, accounting for 6.2 percent of the nation’s total population who did not have easy access to a supermarket or grocery store.
Why do food deserts exist?
There is no one cause of food deserts, although there are a number of variables that contribute to their occurrence. Among these are:
- Low-income households are less likely than other families to have dependable transportation, which might prohibit people from going greater distances to shop for goods. Small corner stores, convenience markets, and fast food vendors are more common in low-income neighborhoods, which provide less nutritious food alternatives for residents. An additional risk is associated with the establishment of a supermarket or food store chain, and this risk might develop to prohibitive proportions in low-income communities. As an illustration: Over the course of a month, the spending power of consumers in these neighborhoods — which includes families enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — might fluctuate drastically. A business’s insurance expenses and security expenditures might be increased as a result of the prospect of increased crime rates, whether genuine or perceived. Inequality of income – Healthy food is more expensive. The healthiest diets — those consisting primarily of vegetables, fruits, fish, and nuts — were found to be on average $1.50 per day more expensive per day than diets consisting primarily of processed foods, meat, and refined grains, according to a study conducted by researchers from Brown University and Harvard University. Nutritious food may be out of reach for some families that live paycheck to paycheck because of the greater expense of healthy food, even when it is easily available.
How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted food access?
Even more hurdles — both logistical and financial — were introduced into the already complicated sector of food availability as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. Restaurants, corner stores, and food markets, among other businesses, were forced to lock their doors or decrease their operation hours as the number of COVID-19 instances increased across the country. For those who depended on public transit to get food, there were extra obstacles to overcome, including increased travel limits and reduced service schedules.
According to the Brookings Institution’s Fall 2020 food insecurity update, over 10% of parents with just young children — children aged five and under — reported having inadequate food for their family and insufficient means to acquire more food.
What solutions to food deserts can be pursued?
Eating habits and patterns are affected by environmental, policy, and human variables, according to Joel Gittelsohn, a public health specialist at Johns Hopkins University who specializes in chronic disease prevention and management. Some techniques for relieving food desert situations exist within this complicated environment, and they are as follows:
- Providing financial incentives to food stores and supermarkets in underprivileged regions Providing funding for city-wide initiatives to promote better eating
- Increasing support for local, neighborhood-based businesses such as corner shops and farmers markets
- When selecting food desert metrics, regulations, and interventions, it is important to consult with the community. Increasing the number of clients who may utilize their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies to purchase food online through pilot programs
Casey Foundation resources on food insecurity and food access
Among the issues addressed in theKids, Families, and COVID-19KIDS COUNT ®policy study are pandemic pain points such as an increase in food poverty across the country. Casey Foundation-funded report Food at Home examines the possibility of utilizing inexpensive housing as a platform to solve nutritional issues. Among the topics covered in the booklet are food deserts and their impact on communities around the United States. According to a September 2019 Data Snapshot, there are many actions that leaders may take to assist families living in high-poverty, low-opportunity neighborhoods to succeed.
America’s Worst 9 Urban Food Deserts
TheKids, Families, and COVID-19KIDS COUNT ®policy study identifies pandemic pain areas, such as an increase in food insecurity across the United States, in particular. Using cheap housing as a platform to solve nutritional difficulties is the subject of Food at Home, a Casey-funded report. Food deserts and their influence on communities across the United States are discussed in the article. According to a September 2019 Data Snapshot, there are several actions that leaders may take to assist families living in high-poverty, low-opportunity neighborhoods in order to prosper.
1) New Orleans, LA
With Hurricane Katrina devastating damage on some of New Orleans’ poorest neighborhoods, a lack of access to healthful meals has become an even more pressing concern for the city’s most vulnerable people in recent years. New Orleans was rated 8th in the nation for the proportion of its people who lived in poverty as of the year 2006. According to change.org, almost 60% of New Orleans residents believe they must choose between purchasing food and paying their energy bills. Congressional Hunger Center researchers found just 20 grocery stores in New Orleans, down from 30 before to Hurricane Katrina.
It is estimated that not having a full-service supermarket in a neighborhood loses these communities millions of dollars in “grocery leakage,” which is money that individuals spend outside the community to purchase food.
New Orleansers spend over $915 million on grocery purchases, according to a survey commissioned by the O.C. Haley Boulevard Merchants and Business Association. Residents outside their own neighborhoods spend roughly 373 millions dollars on groceries, according to the report.
2) Chicago, IL
The Mari Gallagher ResearchConsulting Group published a research estimating that 600,000 individuals in Chicago live in regions that are deemed food deserts. The paper was written by Mari Gallagher ResearchConsulting Group. Children make up about one-third of the population in this area. For example, in a typical Black community in Chicago, the nearest grocery shop is almost double the distance away from the nearest fast food restaurant (see map). According to the findings of the survey, Black Chicagoans walk the greatest distance on average to reach any type of grocery shop (0.59 miles).
Moreover, while a variety of other factors, such as inadequate health care and stress, play a role in these figures, the comparison is particularly chilling when it comes to deaths from cardiovascular disease, which affects 11 people per 1,000 in the most hard-hit neighborhoods, compared with fewer than six people per 1,000 in the best-off neighborhoods.
3) Atlanta, GA
Food deserts are prevalent in Atlanta, and they may be found across all socioeconomic and racial groups. Atlanta’s more wealthy communities have more than three times as many stores as its disadvantaged neighborhoods, according to a survey sponsored by the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. When researchers looked at supermarkets by race, they discovered that there are four times as many supermarkets in mostly white districts as there are in predominantly black ones.
4) Memphis, TN
According to a Gallup study conducted in 2010, Tennessee was ranked second in the nation for having limited availability to healthful meals in low-income communities. The city of Memphis was also placed first in the US for hunger, according to the study, with a stunning 26 percent of residents in the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area reporting that they were unable to afford to buy food for their family in the previous 12 months. In Tennessee, according to Ellen Holtzman, director of the Tennessee Food Trust, “almost 13 percent of the census tracts are deemed food deserts, both in inner-city metropolitan areas and in rural regions,” she says.
In addition, 32% were forced to choose between purchasing food and paying rent or a house payment.
5) Minneapolis, MN
Since 1995, the percentage of obesity in Minnesota has climbed from 15 percent to 25 percent, resulting in a total of around 1.3 million Minnesotans being obese. According to the researchers, food deserts, which in 2006 comprised over half of Minneapolis and nearly one-third of St. Paulas, are a major contributing factor. In 2009, municipal officials observed that 36% of local corner stores did not carry any fresh vegetables, and the remaining 35% had a restricted selection of fresh produce. An article published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis stated: “Distance is exacerbated by the fact that a trip to the supermarket is both expensive and time consuming for many people in these areas.” According to Robert King, director of the University of Minnesota’s Food Industry Center, making a trip to the supermarket is both costly and time-consuming for many people in these areas.
“Low-income individuals are frequently less mobile than higher-income individuals.”
6) San Francisco
San Francisco has a significant food desert, which is concentrated in the Bayview, Hunters Point, and Visitacion Valley areas, which are among the city’s poorest communities. In San Francisco, a stunning 150,000 individuals, or 20 percent of the city’s population, foregoes purchasing food in order to pay their bills, according to official figures. Hunters Point is home to around 40,000 people who must travel kilometers to go to the nearest food shop. The majority of people flock to high-fat, high-sodium fast food restaurants nearby.
“There is no amount of physical exercise that can make up for the consequences of poor eating habits.” Neighborhoods in Oakland and Richmond are also considered food deserts in the Bay Area.
Eighty-five percent of the state’s food deserts are located in metropolitan areas.
A gloomy image of a city formerly recognized for its thriving car sector is painted by urban legends that claim Detroit does not have a single food shop. It is estimated that there are 155 full-service grocery shops in Detroit, compared to more than 1,000 convenience stores and petrol stations that sell some form of food, according to the Detroit News. Mari Gallagher ResearchConsulting Group says that more than 550,000 Detroit residents live in locations classified as food deserts, according to their data.
It should come as no surprise that Detroit has one of the highest obesity rates in the country.
8) New York
According to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, there are just 550 full-time employees left in the city. Approximately three million New Yorkers, according to a study done by the New York Department of City Planning in 2008, are estimated to live in neighborhoods with insufficient access to supermarkets. In an interview with the New York Times, Amanda Burden, the city’s planning director, stated that “many individuals in low-income districts are spending their food budget at bargain stores or pharmacies where there is no fresh produce available.” Some of the city’s different food deserts, according to experts, include areas in Harlem, the South Bronx, and Brooklyn, among others.
Companies from establishing full-service supermarkets in these areas, according to experts such as Susanne Freidberg, an associate professor of geography at Dartmouth University, are deterred by low profit margins, space constraints, landlords’ preference for tenants who do not attract vermin, a perceived lack of demand, and rising rents.
9) Camden, NJ
New Jersey’s population of more than 900,000 people (more than 10% of the state’s population) lacks adequate access to supermarkets that carry fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and dairy products, according to a recent study conducted by the Reinvestment Fund, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that studies urban issues. A Pathmark supermarket near the city’s eastern border with Collingswood is the only major supermarket in Camden, which consistently ranks among the poorest and most violent cities in the United States, according to Phiilly.com.
Aside from that, there is a segment on THE BIG ISSUE called “The Big Issue: Blacks Aren’t Immune To Food Addiction” (presented by Mara Sciavocampo).
Also airing on NewsOne:
Why food deserts are still a problem in America
In the middle of a worldwide epidemic and violent rallies against police brutality, there is another hidden catastrophe wreaking havoc on America’s most vulnerable neighborhoods: food deserts. Food deserts are a silent disaster that affects the most disadvantaged areas in the country. A food desert, according to the USDA, is defined as a place where at least one-third of the population resides more than one mile away from a supermarket in urban areas or more than ten miles away from a supermarket in rural regions.
Since Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign launched in 2010, the dearth of food shops in many low-income Black areas has become a major issue of discussion in public policy circles.
Another major objective of the program was the elimination of food deserts in the United States within seven years.
Watch this video to learn more about the food deserts that exist around the country.
Assistance with Food and Nutrition (statistic) Some low-income neighborhoods in the United States may not have access to grocery stores that provide nutritious and reasonably priced food. In these places, which are frequently referred to as food deserts, a lack of access to grocery stores may be a contributing factor to poor nutrition, obesity, and other diet-related illnesses. The Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (HHS) are pooling resources and expertise to promote long-term programs and strategies to eradicate food deserts in the United States.
For this purpose, ERS researchers created the Food Desert Locator, a mapping tool that offers a geographical overview of where food deserts are situated and select characteristics of the populations that reside in them.
A companion tool to ERS’s Food Environment Atlas, which includes county- and state-level information on over 100 indicators of food choices, health and well-being, and community characteristics for all counties in the United States, the Food Desert Locator is available online.
What Is a Food Desert?
The term “food desert” and the concept of “food availability” are both used interchangeably. The Food Desert Locator established by ERS is based on a criteria developed by the USDA, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Food deserts are defined as low-income census tracts with a significant number or share of residents who have limited access to retail outlets that sell healthy and affordable foods. Food deserts are defined as census tracts with a substantial number or share of residents who have limited access to retail outlets that sell healthy and affordable foods.
Census tracts qualify as food deserts if they satisfy the following criteria: low income, limited availability to healthy foods.
- Low-income: having a poverty rate of 20% or more, or having a median family income that is at or below 80% of the statewide or metropolitan area median family income
- The census tract is considered low-access if at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the population reside more than one mile from a supermarket or a major food store (10 miles in the case of rural census tracts)
Data on population and income come from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing. As a substitute for nutritious and economical foods, supermarkets and large grocery shops (designated as foodstores with at least $2 million in annual sales and encompassing all the major food sections) are used as proxies. In order to compile a directory of these stores, we used a 2006 list of stores authorized to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which was supplemented with 2006 data from Trade Dimensions TDLinx (a Nielsen company), which is a proprietary source of individual grocery store listings.
What Can Users Do With the Food Desert Locator?
The Census of Population and Housing (2000 Census of Population and Housing) provides information on population and income. Large grocery stores, which are defined as foodstores with at least $2 million in annual sales and containing all of the major food sections, are used as proxies for sources of nutritious and reasonably priced food. In order to create a directory of these stores, a 2006 list of stores authorized to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits was supplemented with 2006 data from Trade Dimensions TDLinx (a Nielsen company), which is a proprietary source of individual supermarket store listings.
How to Fix One of the Worst Healthy Food ‘Deserts’ in America
The 2000 Census of Population and Housing provides information on the population and income of the United States. Supermarkets and big grocery stores—defined as foodstores with at least $2 million in yearly sales and encompassing all of the major food departments—are used as proxies for sources of healthful and inexpensive food. A directory of these establishments was created using a 2006 list of businesses allowed to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which was supplemented with 2006 data from Trade Dimensions TDLinx (a Nielsen firm), a proprietary source of individual supermarket store listings.
These criteria and data sources indicate that around 13.5 million individuals in the United States have limited access to a supermarket or major grocery store, with 82 percent of those people residing in metropolitan areas.
Pandemic Worsens ‘Food Deserts’ for 23.5 Million Americans
Maintaining a healthy diet in Desire, a largely African American area in New Orleans, Louisiana, has never been easy, but it has become practically impossible during the epidemic, according to local residents. “We’ve always had issues with inequity to deal with, but the coronavirus has exacerbated them,” high school junior Chrishana Simon said of the virus. “The stakes have been raised significantly.” New Orleans is a city that has a strong desire to develop. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, despite the fact that Louisiana is a gourmet hotspot known for its Cajun cuisine, the state ranks towards the bottom of the list of states in terms of providing inhabitants with access to nutritious and inexpensive food.
Those who lived there were disproportionately likely to be African-American.
Because they are concerned about her grandfather’s health in particular, they have confined their shopping to fast trips to a nearby convenience store, where Simon is more likely to find chips and drink than fresh fruits and vegetables.
“We couldn’t have made a better choice.” According to Connor DeLoach of Top Box Foods, a charity that supplies fresh food and other commodities at significantly discounted prices in New Orleans and other cities, the implications of dietary inadequacies are tough to overlook – especially during the epidemic.
- John Bel Edwards stated last month that blacks were responsible for more than 70 percent of the state’s coronavirus deaths, according to the Associated Press.
- A food distribution station for persons who have been economically harmed by the coronavirus epidemic, hosted by New Orleans City Councilman Jay Banks, will be held in New Orleans on April 29, 2020, with people on foot and in automobiles lining up to get food.
- “Food deserts,” according to the USDA, are defined as areas where residents must drive more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) to reach a supermarket.
- Simon stated that the nearest food shop to her residence is a Walmart located around three kilometers from her residence.
- “We have a Rally’s, a McDonald’s, a Cane’s,” Simon said, referring to her neighborhood’s unhealthy fast food options.
- According to her, she frequently prefers a fresh salad rather than sweet or fatty things.
- White flight began in the 1950s and 1960s, she noted, “leaving impoverished and African American families in partly abandoned inner cities on their own.” As the population’s size and spending power declined, many businesses, including supermarkets, were forced to close.
According to her, “it couldn’t be further from the truth.” “The fact is that, following white flight, getting healthful food in inner cities was virtually difficult.” People in New Orleans line up for food in a vehicle line that stretched one mile long to receive food at a food distribution point for people who have been economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which was organized by New Orleans City Councilman Jay Banks and took place in the French Quarter.
Exacerbating the situation Before the epidemic, getting public transportation to and from the food store was a time-consuming and exhausting endeavor for Simon and her family.
As a result of the virus, “riding a public bus feels like a significant danger right now,” she explained.
“Have you ever tried walking two kilometers with a bunch of groceries?” “You won’t be able to transport all of the fresh food your family need.” For added difficulty, most meal delivery services – a popular choice for many Americans who are staying at home during the storm – do not accept food stamps, thus cutting out the poor and vulnerable who rely on the government’s aid program for grocery purchases.
If Simon’s family decides to venture into a supermarket, they will discover that fresh food is even more out of reach.
Change While food is becoming more costly, many people in New Orleans have seen their salaries collapse as a result of the recession.
As has been the case in many cities, minorities in New Orleans have been particularly severely impacted, with many losing employment that were related to the city’s strong tourism business, which has been ravaged by the pandemic.
The efforts of NGOs like as DeLoach’s Top Box Foods, which delivers boxes of fresh produce, fruit, and meat to clients’ homes – including those who rely on food stamps – are becoming increasingly important in an era of mounting desperation.
Likewise, Chrishana Simon may see a better future in which she passes around her neighborhood and does not witness a never-ending procession of fast food outlets, as she does now.
“When I’m in different communities, I notice that people are producing vegetables in gardens, which I find interesting. “There are shops that sell fresh veggies,” she explains. “How come that can’t be my neighborhood?” “Don’t you think my family and I deserve the opportunity to be healthy as well?”