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Houston Matters

Food Deserts in Houston

One common characteristic of low-income areas in Houston is a shortage of grocery stores. For residents in such areas, that means having to travel long distances to gain access to fresh food, fruits and vegetables in particular. The USDA’s Economic Research Service says 20% of households in Harris County live without cars and are more […]

One common characteristic of low-income areas in Houston is a shortage of grocery stores. For residents in such areas, that means having to travel long distances to gain access to fresh food, fruits and vegetables in particular. The USDA's Economic Research Service says 20% of households in Harris County live without cars and are more than half a mile from a supermarket. Some city officials have attempted to recruit retailers into opening in some of these neighborhoods – commonly referred to as "food deserts." We discussed the recruitment efforts and explored why retailers find it challenging to move into and sustain business in areas where consumers would seem to need them most. Our host Craig Cohen spoke with Stephen Costello, Houston Council Member At Large Position 1 who has tried to recruit retailers into these neighborhoods. Dr. Ann Barnes, assistant prof. at Baylor College of Medicine and medical director of Weight Management Services and Disease Prevention for Harris Health System, she started the Healthy Harvest. And Jay Blazek Crossley, Houston Food Policy Workgroup with Houston Tomorrow.

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