Atlanta’s Food Desert Problem

An estimated 500,000 residents of the Atlanta area live without access to grocery stores. A recent article asks the obvious question: “Why can we build multimillion-dollar highway systems and multibillion-dollar stadiums but not more grocery stores?"

“Indeed, more than half a million people in the city of Atlanta and the ten counties that surround it live in neighborhoods the U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies as food deserts,” writes Rebecca Burns in a thoughtful and broad examination of the food desert problem in Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs.

Perhaps surprisingly, food deserts expand well into the suburban surroundings of Atlanta: “You don’t find these nutritional wastelands only in places like Bankhead; it’s even harder to get fresh, healthy food in the suburbs. In Cobb County, 75,000 people are food desert residents, as are 124,000 in Clayton.”

Moreover, “Getting fresh food isn’t only a problem for the poorest Atlantans. Areas most of us would hardly consider underprivileged—the middle-class suburbs of DeKalb County or the gentrified enclaves around Grant Park, for instance—are labeled 'low access' by the USDA, meaning at least a third of the people who live there have to travel a mile or more to get to a grocery store.”

Full Story: Stranded in Atlanta's Food Deserts


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!

City Map Posters are in!

Available in 9 different cities.