Are You In a Food Desert?
h/t SF Fed via Twitter (yeah, I know)
Check out the USDA's Food Desert Locator to get a spatial overview of low-income neighborhoods with high concentrations of people who are far from a grocery store.
The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) working group defines a food desert as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store:
* To qualify as a “low-income community,” a census tract must have either: 1) a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher, OR 2) a median family income at or below 80 percent of the area's median family income;
* To qualify as a “low-access community,” at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract's population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles).
I was struck by the fact that the locator identified an area of the District of Columbia as being 100% low access for its population and yet stated only 2133 people had low access.
So poke around at your own risk, the methodology doesn't quite make sense.