By Barbara Ray, Next City, November 17, 2020
It says something about the persistence of food deserts in low-income neighborhoods when the managers of Carver Market, a new grocery store in Historic South Atlanta, have to drive 200 miles roundtrip each week to a small town in Alabama to stock Carver’s shelves.
There’s been a lot of talk and research about the importance of access to healthy food as a social determinant of health. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease — all are linked to diet. So putting a full-service grocery store in the heart of low-income, underresourced neighborhoods, where health disparities are high and persistent, seems like a sensible thing.
It’s why Promedica healthcare system now owns and operates a grocery store in the UpTown neighborhood in Toledo. It’s why Virginia Commonwealth University and Health Systems is locating its “health hub” next door to a new grocery store in East Richmond. And it’s why the managers of Carver Market in Atlanta drive 90 minutes roundtrip just to stock their shelves.