Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Supermarkets and their role in food Deserts

In an article in the LA Times entitled, "Filling in 'Food Deserts'," the hope that supermarkets will take on the issue of food deserts themselves is discussed. If supermarkets take it upon themselves to place stores in areas with a high concentration of poverty and a lack of access to healthy foods, not only do they help the community, but they help themselves by garnering good publicity. Sounds like a good deal, right? Just one problem: sticking with it. In the past, large supermarket chains have attempted to place stores in struggling areas, but often pull out. The area simply isn't profitable and the supermarket has already gotten its share of good publicity, so the supermarkets soon close their doors and move on, leaving an area to fend for itself in the search for food.

Supermarkets need to be encouraged to stick with it, even if they are not making a sizable profit. If supermarkets were given financial aid from the government for their stores in struggling food desert areas, perhaps they would not be so inclined to leave and they would be encouraged to build more stores in struggling areas.

Link to the article: http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/05/news/OE-GOTTLIEB5

--Kyla Tom

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