Food Desert Infographic - Text Version

What is a food desert?
A food desert is an urban or rural area where the availability of affordable, healthy, fresh food is limited.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 25-30 million Americans live in food deserts
  • Food deserts lead to poor diets, which can contribute to obesity, Type-2 diabetes, and heart disease
  • Southern states like Alabama, Louisiana, and North Carolina are most affected due to poverty, health and food access
    • In North Carolina, 1.5 million people live in 349 federally recognized food deserts
    • Every county in Alabama has 1 neighborhood with limited access to fresh foods, affecting 1.8 million people
    • 70% of North Carolina residents favored the creation of a healthy corner store initiative
 
But these three states are making progress on laws that could help close the gap on the lack of access that millions of their residents have to healthy, fresh food:
 
Alabama
Governor signed a healthy food financing act giving incentives to groceries and retailers to expand into food deserts. Funding is the next step.
 
Louisiana
Funding is critical for a 6-year-old healthy food retail act aimed at helping grocers and farmers’ markets expand into needy areas.
 
North Carolina
Lawmakers are mulling over the healthy corner store initiative – including $1 million for grants to store owners in areas with low access to healthy foods.

View the Infographic for Food Deserts.

Download a printable PDF.