Healthy Living

How We’re Fighting Food Deserts

By  Tres Bailey, Director, Agriculture and Food, Walmart May 19, 2014

Food Desert Store Openings Map

You may have heard the term “food desert” before, but what does it really mean? Well, it’s sort of what it sounds like — an area, in urban or rural settings where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Instead of grocery stores with fresh fruit and vegetables, the landscape is often limited to convenience stores and fast food restaurants.  

People who live in areas without access to affordable, healthy food often suffer from a number of nutrition related health problems including obesity, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. So it’s no surprise that helping close the access gap has been a big part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!  program designed to help fight childhood obesity and help Americans get healthy.

As the country’s largest retailer of groceries, Walmart has a role to play in helping improve access to affordable healthy food. In July 2012, we joined the First Lady and the Let’s Move! initiative by committing to open 275 to 300 new stores in areas that serve food deserts by 2016. When the U.S. Census showed an increase in areas that fall into the food desert category, we opened 224 stores across the country in areas that serve those food deserts, including states where it’s a big problem like my home state of Texas (27 stores), California (18 stores), and Colorado (12 stores). Of those, 48 were opened in fiscal year 2012, 80 in fiscal year 2013, and 96 in fiscal year 2014.

This is a commitment we take very seriously at Walmart. From the beginning we’ve always said that a customer shouldn’t have to choose between a food that is healthier for them and a food they can afford.  Families should have reasonable access to a store that provides healthy choices and helps that family live better.  I’m proud to say that we are doing our small part to bring better options to families to urban and rural areas across the country.  

Read more from Tres Bailey

Be the first to comment on this article

Related Posts

Sneaky Veggies: 7 Recipes to Get Kids to Eat Healthy

By Tina Butler, Walmart Mom Blogger, Mommy’s Kitchen

Eat Healthy Together: Happy Healthy Spring Rolls

By Nicole Presley, Walmart Mom Blogger, PresleysPantry.com

Wasting Less Will Save You Food, Money, and More

By Dana Gunders, Staff Scientist, National Resources Defense Council

Making Organic Foods a Reality For All

By Jack Sinclair, Executive Vice President, Grocery, Walmart U.S.

Together, moving in a healthier direction

By Tres Bailey, Director, Agriculture and Food, Walmart

@WalmartHealthy

Food labels can help you make informed decisions about what you eat on #WFD2014 and every day: http://t.co/6VBl1siaPB

By Walmart Healthy

6:12am October 17, 2014

70+ "Better for you" items coming to @samsclub by end of year. $WMT 40 now include Chia Seeds, Quinoa snacks, more #org

By Walmart Healthy

10:31am October 15, 2014

This is the easiest grape jelly recipe you'll ever make. http://t.co/iOnpF52O0Z

By Walmart Healthy

9:37am October 02, 2014

Most Popular

Halloweekend: Making the Most of a Friday Halloween

By Charles Ritter, Vice President, Seasonal, Walmart U.S.

Trade in used video games for Walmart credit

By Justin Williamson, Director, Entertainment, Walmart

Simplifying Access to Digital Movies

By Gibu Thomas, Senior Vice President, Mobile and Digital, Walmart Global eCommerce