Urban Food Deserts

NPR Audio: In Chicago a Plan to Quench Food Deserts (Aug 12, 2010): Walgreens is piloting several food centers in Chicago after Mayor Daley approached the chain about helping end "food deserts" -- areas bereft of grocery stores and food options. Walgreens is now selling fresh produce and light perishable groceries in low-income and/or black communities in Chicago. Listen here

Can America's Urban Food Deserts Bloom? (TIME)

Map from the Maryland Institute College of Art here.


  1. Hi Tom:

    Since the NPR story is about Chicago, and your map is from the Baltimore area, here's a T/MC map of grocery stores in the Chicago area, mapped alongside poverty and tutor/mentor locations.

    I do quite a bit of friendship-work with Dan Bassill of Tutor/Mentor Connection, and his uses of mapping for social benefit are very impressive.

  2. Charles thinks for introducing the Tutor/Mentor Connection to Tom. Tom's maps show how we can use maps to understand the distribution of business locations, in relation to where more might be needed, e.g. the "food deserts".

    We're hoping companies will use maps to not only plot store locations, but to build community engagement strategies that use company resources (people, jobs, technology, dollars, advertising, etc.) to support programs in the area where companies do business that help reduce poverty by helping kids expand their learning and work opportunities.

    Such strategies benefit the company and their employees, as much as the neighborhood if they are fully developed and supported from top levels of the company.

    Visit http://www.tutormentorprogramlocator.net to see more maps, and find blog articles that illustrate this use of maps for social benefit strategies.


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