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Solutions for the “food desert” problem in low income areas often focus on getting more supermarkets built in neighborhoods that lack them. However, a new study produced through the National Bureau of Economic Research challenges the effectiveness of that solution. That may be welcome news to major food retailers, which have not been particularly receptive to the idea of opening new grocery stores in the low-income areas usually associated with food deserts.
However, supermarkets can potentially offer other value factors — convenience, wider selection, lower prices, job opportunities, and civic activities — that are denied to communities that rely primarily on corner stores and small groceries. In other words, the study doesn’t necessarily let the supermarket industry off the hook. Rather, it indicates that the brick-and-mortar solution is more complicated than simply bringing more food into food deserts.
Read the full article about how supermarkets can solve the food desert problem by Tina Casey at TriplePundit.