New Orleans Ranks as Worst Food Desert

A new report ranks the country’s worst food deserts, with the majority of those locations found in major cities in the eastern half of the United States.

Ranking No. 1 on the list is New Orleans. Six years after Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana city is still struggling to recover. Before the devastating August 2005 storm, the city had 30 grocery stores compared with 20 today, according to the Congressional Hunger Center. Now the average grocery store in the city serves 16,000 people -- twice the national average, reported.

Coming in as the second-worst food desert is Chicago. In a typical black neighborhood in the Windy City, the closest grocery store is approximately twice as distant as the nearest fast-food restaurant, according to the news outlet.
Rounding out the top three is Atlanta. According to a report sponsored by the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., the Georgia city’s affluent neighborhoods have more than three times the number of supermarkets as its poor neighborhoods.

The remaining five worst food deserts, as reported by, are Memphis, Tenn.; Minneapolis, San Francisco; Detroit; New York; and Camden, N.J.

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