How To Find A Food Desert Near You
Food deserts mapped from coast to coast, plus Alaska and Hawaii.
By Nancy Shute
March 13, 2013
Want to know where you can’t buy fresh, healthful food? The USDA has the map for you.
The feds’ new Food Access Research Atlas lets you find out just where it’s difficult to buy broccoli or bananas in counties across the U.S. Forget walking to the store in St. Louis, Minn., where most people live more than a mile from a grocery store. Ditto for Hyde, N.C., and Pushmataha, Okla.
The atlas, which is a big upgrade from the USDA’s 2-year-old Food Desert Locator, is intended as a tool for state policymakers, local planners and nonprofit groups concerned about food access.
“People can get a more detailed picture of exactly what challenges they encounter in getting to the grocery store,” says Paula Dutko, an economist for the USDA Economic Research Service who helped craft the atlas.
Detailed, indeed. A few clicks and you’re deep into individual neighborhoods, showing what percentage of people aren’t within walking distance of a supermarket.