Food Deserts
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

For more than a decade, policymakers have been discussing the problem of “food deserts.” I started writing about this issue three years ago because there are zip codes in low-income neighborhoods without a grocery store that can provide fresh and nutritious food options. Dr. Merrill Matthews recently wrote about this issue and was on my radio program to discuss it.

He reminded us that major food chains like Walmart, Kroger, and Whole Foods have announced they will be leaving some major urban areas. Of course, we have also seen that other retail outlets that don’t sell food (like Walgreens, Macy’s, Nike, and Old Navy) are also leaving those same crime-ridden areas.

The explanation is simple. These have become bastions of progressivism. Crime is on the increase because shoplifters and other criminals aren’t punished. Record levels of unchecked theft and crime make these stores unprofitable.

Let me add my perspective to his observation. Food deserts are a real problem, and wokeness and especially critical race theory make the program worse. In a recent speech, I gave in the Dallas area, I started with the economic fact that it takes $12 million to plant a grocery store in this area. And the risks are high given the limited profit margins. In two cities in which I have lived, the local grocery store went broke and closed.

When a food chain announces it will locate a grocery store, there are the inevitable charges of racism: white grocery chains will put local black convenience stores out of business. Once it is built, the food chain must hire law enforcement to stop shoplifting and smash-and-grab. Again, you hear the charges of racism. If only a few people are hired from the community, once again, you hear the charges of racism.

Food deserts are a real problem, but I suggest that the current political, economic, and cultural issues aren’t making it easy to solve the problem.viewpoints new web version

This post originally appeared at

Leave a Reply