Government Releases Food Desert Locator

Government Releases Food Desert Locator

The USDA has launched a food desert locator that indicates areas in which there is low access to supermarkets or other sources of fresh food.

About 10 percent of the 65,000 U.S. census tracts are food deserts, containing 13.5 million people, 82 percent of whom live in urban areas. On the food desert locator website, areas in red are considered food deserts. They are more heavily concentrated in the midwest and toward the west coast of the United States. One can zoom in very close, to identify areas within counties that are considered food deserts. Downloadable spreadsheets and search-by-address features are also included.

This initiative has been encouraged by Michelle Obama as part of her "Let's Move!" anti-obesity campaign. She has previously voiced her desire to eliminate food deserts within the next seven years.