This article discusses a food desert and the effects it has on a community. A food desert is defined as “areas lacking retail services within roughly 500 m radius.” This study focused on a town called Lawrence in Kansas. They mapped out the location of all the full service grocery stores, quick service outlet, specialty, and ethnic locations that had varying amounts of food for people to buy.
They then sent out a survey asking people how they got to their favorite food store, car, walking, or public transportation. Another question was, how far their favorite food store was from them, less than a mile, 1 to 2 miles, 2 to 3 miles, or more than 3 miles. Most people replied that they drove to their favorite food store, which “suggests that almost no Lawrence residents with cars live in underserved areas or food deserts.” This makes since because if you have the ability to drive you suddenly have more options of where to shop, while others walked or took public transportation have less options.
This map shows that many people who live in northeast of Lawrence have a harder time getting to food. The northeast is the “greatest concentration of poor residents,” while some may quickly decide that poorer people have a harder time acquiring food this may not be the case in Lawrence because of the “dense road network[s]” there is not enough space for a supermarket and parking lot. This can all be attested to poor planning and zoning of the town.
Hallett, L. F., & McDermott, D. (2011). Quantifying the extent and cost of food deserts in Lawrence, Kansas, USA. Applied Geography, 31(4), 1210-1215.