Food deserts in the U.S.? Is that a misspelling?
Areas Of High Poverty With Little Access To Fresh Food
No, a food desert is an area of high poverty with little access to supermarkets or other sources of fresh food.
10 Percent Of U.S. Census Tracts Are Food Deserts
What’s alarming is that, using these criteria, about 10 percent of the 65,000 U.S. census tracts are food deserts, containing 13.5 million people, 82 percent of whom live in urban areas.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the locator is designed to “help policy makers, community planners, researchers, and other professionals identify communities where public-private intervention can help make fresh, healthy, and affordable food more readily available to residents.”
Low-income areas are defined as: “areas where at least 20 percent of the people are at or below the federal poverty levels for family size, or where median family income for the tract is at or below 80 percent of the surrounding area’s median family income. Tracts qualify as ‘low access’ tracts if at least 500 persons or 33 percent of their population live more than a mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles).”
Credit To Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign
Is this concept a result of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign? If so, her ideas about food and poverty are truly making a difference.
Photo Credit: marksdk via Creative Commons