USA TODAY: Special Edition
"At least 19 million Americans live in food deserts at least a mile from a grocery store in urban areas and 10 miles from a store in rural regions, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). Congress mandated the study of food deserts, also known as low-income, low-supermarket-access census tracts, as part of the 2008 Farm Bill, said Shelly Ver Ploeg, an ERS economist. But it takes more than adding shiny new markets in these neighborhoods to address this thorny problem, Ver Ploeg said. In fact, the number of supermarkets in the U.S. actually increased between 2010 and 2015. But the number of lowincome households and those without cars also increased — meaning healthy food often was still out of reach for many."
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