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There She Goes Again…

By on July 21, 2011

First Lady Michelle Obama is known for making a fashion statement, now she’s making a splash among food retailers.

Walmart, Supervalu, and Walgreen Co pledged to join forces with Mrs. Obama to bring healthy food to parts of the country, urban and rural, where access to fresh groceries is poor. The longstanding drought of poor access to fresh produce in many neglected communities will end  by 2016.

All three chains announced plans to open stores in so-called “food desert” parts of the country, where people lack access to grocery stores and their fresh produce and meats. It’s estimated that more than 23 million people, including more than 6 million children, live in U.S. food deserts. A food desert is any area in the industrialised world where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain.

Walmart, the largest unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, has repeatedly said that it wants to bring lower-priced fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods to food deserts. At a January event in Washington featuring Michelle Obama, Walmart said it would promote and cut prices on healthy food.

“The first lady’s efforts in these areas have helped focus our real estate process, to take a particular look at these areas as we build out our real estate plans,” said Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart.

Supervalu already operates about 400 stores in areas some may consider food deserts, including five recently opened units on Chicago’s
South Side.

One Comment

  1. G-Roc

    July 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I understand what she’s trying to do and I respect her efforts, but when it comes to these “food deserts”, the important factor isn’t the lack of access to these fresh fruits and vegetables, the important factor will still be the cost.

    What struggling mother (for example) is going to spend $30 on fruits and vegetables to feed a family of 4 for one night, when she can spend $12 on some mashed potatoes, fried chicken & kool-aid that will last her at least 2 days and save her a bunch of money. I told my friends the other day, this eating healthy stuff…is expensive!

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