There is a path out of the "food desert," and it is as close as the nearest Internet connection. A Yale University analysis found that most people in "food deserts" in eight states would increase their access to healthy, nutritious food if they purchased groceries online and had the food delivered as part of the Federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The analysis showed that online grocery delivery systems already cover about 90% of food deserts--places where access to healthy food is limited--in the eight states: Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington.
"If you live in a food desert, online grocery delivery really stands out as a way to get healthy food," notes lead author Eric Brandt, a postdoctoral research fellow in the National Clinician Scholars Program.
SNAP recently began a pilot program in which clients had the option of buying food via online grocery delivery services. The program was established by the...