We help founders utilize mobility and tech solutions to solve for food deserts and food insecurity
Fueling ideas at the intersection of mobility and food

Challenges and Potential Solutions for Alleviating Food Deserts

Unfortunately, simply adding a grocery store will not solve the problem as people in food deserts are historically faced with walkability issues, financial constraints, broadband issues, and more. Mobility and emerging technology solutions could be a game-changer for people who struggle with access to healthy foods, living in disinvested areas, facing challenges, time constraints and more.

Mobility solutions such as mobile markets, fresh food delivery, technology to assist municipalities plan for the food options in communities, autonomous delivery methods, GIS based solutions and more

Providing take and would founders with the services and support to innovate will result in a diversity of solutions.

Providing these founders with the services and support to innovate will result in a diversity of solutions.

Food Deserts/ Food Insecurity
Unveiling the Roots
of Food Deserts
Food desert’s did not occur naturally, as the tem would suggest.  Food deserts exist because of systemic racial inequality.  In the United States food deserts are a result of efforts to segregate U.S. cities into predominantly black and predominantly white neighborhoods through federal urban planning and housing policies.
Navigating the Evolution of Food Access: From ‘Food Deserts’ to ‘Food Swamps’
The term “food desert” has been used since the 1990’s to describe the difficulty related to obtaining nutritious foods in neighborhoods. The number of small grocery stores were declining, while larger box chains were on the rise.  This  made it more difficult for people living in certain areas to have access to affordable fruits, vegetables, and other healthy items.  Unfortunately in these areas, there are more “food swamp” options such as fast food restaurants, junk food, gas station food, highly processed drinks and more.  
Nutritional Crisis in Food Deserts
These areas lack suppliers of fresh healthy foods.  Instead, available foods are likely to be processed and high in sugar and fats, directly tied to health disparities such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. According to the USDA and the American Medical Colleges – As of 2021, 54 million in the U.S. are food insecure and 23.5 million live in food deserts. This means that 1 in 6 Americans struggles to eat daily If you live in one of America’s rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods, you may see a high-priced healthy food store open, however, the costs at these types of supermarkets can be useless to families that cannot afford to shop there.

Groceries sold in food deserts are often more expensive than those sold in other areas. For example milk prices in a food desert tend to be 5% higher and cereal is 25% higher.  For low-income families this means that they often spend a larger percentage of their paycheck on food, creating a vicious cycle of food insecurity.( Speaking from experience, I MUST add the caveat of grocery stores with healthy, non-expired items, nand affordable food options)

The USDA defines a community as a food desert if:
Other factors include: access to transportation, income, food prices, and employment.
In urban areas, at least 33% of the population lives more than 1 mile from the nearest grocery store.
In rural areas, at least 33% of the population lives more than 10 miles from the nearest grocery store
The area has a poverty rate of at least 20%
Check out this Food Atlas to find out if your neighborhood identifies as a food desert and more!
Explore our Newsletter
Sign up for
our newsletter!
Scroll to Top