UNSHARED BOUNTY: How Structural Racism Contributes to the Creation and Persistence of Food Deserts


This study does not purport to be an exhaustive one. Although the problems associated with food deserts are not peculiar to urban areas, the relationship between food deserts and structural racism is clearest in cities. Accordingly,
the serious issue of food deserts in rural areas is not addressed here. Further, the purpose of this report is neither to reiterate the findings of prior studies nor to review their conclusions. Rather, the report aims to bring to the discussion three aspects of food deserts that so far have not been sufficiently examined. First, the report traces the evolution of food deserts and identifies
the impact they have on the day-to-day lives of residents in neighborhoods lacking a supermarket. Second, the report considers not just the correlation between food deserts and race and income, but also examines the government policies and private practices that have contributed to the problem. Lastly, the report outlines approaches communities have used to address the scarcity of nutritious foods. It proposes that to have a long term impact on food deserts, efforts must not just address the lack of healthy
food options within a community, but also the underlying causes for the food disparities.