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When Grocery Stores Decide to Leave

Touch the Soil News #792 (Feature photo – USDA map of food deserts – each block of green represents a food desert)

It’s called an economic black hole. Wages and jobs are in such short supply that grocers move out. Once they leave, the area is dubbed by the USDA as a “food desert.”

One of the videos below reports that there are 30 million American in food deserts. However, the USDA estimates that as many as 40 million people live in neighborhoods without easy access to fresh, affordable and nutritious food. The defining characteristic of a food desert is a low-income neighborhood. The real kicker is that some 44 percent of children live in low-income families.

Folks living in food deserts are much more likely to experience diabetes, obesity and degenerative diseases. The question is how to solve the problem. Should there be programs of neighborhood gardening where a municipality (the city) comes in to organize, establish infrastructure such as access to land and water and organize growing for diversity?

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