“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.”