15 Jul, 2024
1 min read

Study finds food deserts in Georgia growing at alarming rate

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – Nearly a million people living in Georgia have limited access to a full-service supermarket, according to a study by the reinvestment fund.

The “limited supermarket access analysis” found the disparity is growing due to rapid population growth in the state.

Christina Szczepanski with the reinvestment fund says more people are moving into rural or urban communities that lack resources, “Retail lags, it takes a much longer time frame for grocery stores and other types of retailers just can’t catch up.”

Researchers found in Metro Atlanta the number of people who have no nearby grocery has grown by nearly 22 percent.

An interactive map shows the areas across the state considered to be food deserts.

The Atlanta Community Food Bank has been working to help.

Kyle Waide, CEO at the Atlanta Community Food Bank says they’ve seen a 40-percent increase in services over the last two years.

Waide says people who don’t have a grocery store nearby depend on local pantries, “In the urban areas too there is just going to be communities where the economic base is just challenging to keep a store open.”

He says better policies are needed at both local and federal levels, “We need to continue to come up with public policy solutions that get more resources, that get more resources to more of our neighbors.”

Waide noted protecting food stamps and expanding the child tax credit will help families in need.

The child tax credit is currently being considered by US Congress.