Interactive Infographic: A Snapshot of America's Food Deserts
For more than 23 million Americans, a food desert is not a mirage. It’s a daily reality in hundreds of communities that lack access to fresh, affordable, and nutritious food.
The USDA characterizes food deserts as low income, low access neighborhoods that lack grocery stores within a 1 mile proximity for urban residents and 10 miles for rural residents. Many of those in food deserts don’t own vehicles, and rely on corner convenience stores that often stock processed snack products (think potato chips, soft drinks, and candy) rather than raw meat or fresh produce.
Not only do food deserts add to the challenge of food insecurity in America, they create a ripple effect that many policy makers believe contribute to issues like childhood obesity, a higher risk of diabetes and heart diseases, and lost economic and job opportunities for the community.
Food deserts have complex root causes and chances are, you live closer to one than you might think. Take a look at the map and learn how some of America's largest cities are tackling the problem within their own communities. See how food deserts are spread across the U.S. and how these regions intersect with issues like poverty, population density, and transportation access.
Also, to find out how you can help bring fresh produce to underserved communities, click here to learn about Drink Good, Raise Good, a fundraising initiative created by GOOD’s sponsor Naked Juice and Wholesome Wave. To date, Naked Juice has donated 150,000 pounds worth of produce to Wholesome Wave, a national nonprofit which works to make locally-grown fruits and veggies more available to underserved communities through their Double Value Coupon Program at participating farmers markets.