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food desert

Girl eating peach
Bruce Tuten / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

If you follow State of Opportunity regularly, then you know we've talked quite a bit about food deserts – places where fresh fruits and vegetables are in short supply.

Produce aisle
Linda Hoenstine / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

More than 43 million Americans receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - formerly known as food stamps. 

Produce aisle
Linda Hoenstine / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Almost 25 million people in the U.S. live in food deserts. These are neighborhoods with limited access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food sources. Nearly half of these residents are low-income.

Four ways cities across the U.S. are fighting hunger

May 16, 2016
Girl eating peach
Bruce Tuten / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

How close do you live to the nearest grocery store? I live within ten minutes of at least three chain grocery stores: Kroger, Meijer and Walmart. But places to buy quality, affordable food are not easily accessed by everyone.

There's an idea that's taken hold in the past few years about why it is that poor people, on average, eat less healthy food and have higher rates of obesity. The idea is simply that people in neighborhoods marked by poverty lack access to healthy food choices. Somewhere along the way (most likely starting in the U.K.) a person with an ear for good marketing decided to label these kinds of neighborhoods "food deserts."

Now, there's even a public service announcement dedicated to ending food deserts in the U.S.

The 2014 Farm Bill called for spending $125 million to attack food deserts by funding new stores or markets to sell fresh fruits and vegetables in low income areas. But this year, Congress decided to strip funding for the program

A new economic study argues this may have been the right decision.