More on Georgia's food deserts

It's not just geography, researcher tells WABE


WABE's Marianne English takes a closer look at the issue of food deserts — and how researchers and officials should examine factors other than geography when gauging a community's access to fresh food:

University of Georgia researcher Jung Sun Lee says communities may also be affected by a lack of stores participating in assistance programs like food stamps.

Food deserts aren’t new for areas in Athens and Atlanta either. In Georgia, Lee says there are roughly six census tracts in the Athens-area alone. Today Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed attended an event to support building a new Walmart in Vine City. He cites combating food deserts in the area as a reason for his support.

Still, Lee says there's more than geography at play.

“The distance and availability of stores may not always tell us what’s going on in each different household and individual’s food-related behaviors,” Lee says. “That’s what we are trying to better understand how we can make better options and better ways to promote healthier food involvement for living in different areas.”