Replenishing Philly’s Food Deserts
Out of America's largest cities, Philadelphia claims the highest obesity rate, the poorest population, and the largest study to date of what happens when nutritious options are introduced into neighborhoods that traditionally lack them. To date, no research has found a causal relationship between weight and access to healthy food. The scale of Philadelphia's initiative could change that. The city has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into encouraging corner stores to sell healthier produce in an attempt to wipe out food deserts. Selling produce is a gamble for corner store owners, as they don't generally have the scale large enough to warrant wholesale prices, and can eat huge costs if the food doesn't sell and spoils. The program is struggling to turn a profit, but corner store owners hope that will change as consumers become more familiar with fresh food.