Last week, Patch reported on the USDA’s finding that parts of Prince George’s County are food deserts.
An interactive map created by the Economic Research Service of the USDA identifies areas in Laurel, College Park, Glenarden and Southern Prince George’s County where there are a high number of low-income residents who live more than a mile away from fresh food and groceries.
There are several factors that can influence the severity of a food desert, such as access to vehicles and the number of people living in group quarters. In College Park, for example, the area designated as a food desert is the University of Maryland campus, where students have access to fresh food at dining halls. Dining halls and retail food services are not included in the USDA findings as food sources.
Additionally, students living in College Park are often employed by the university or local businesses. By accepting jobs that pay a little more than minimum wage, students will earn less and the town’s income will appear low, even though permanent residents earn higher salaries.
Find out if you live in a food desert or if your neighbors have limited access to groceries with the Food Access Research Atlas. Then, tell us what you think of the findings. Do they accurately reflect the food access situation in your neighborhood?
Already know your community is a food desert? How does it affect your daily routine and the health of your family?Share your experiences in the comments below or start a board. Just visit the homepage and contribute a brief post to the Boards.