High food costs for the poor in California’s farm country

The poor pay more: If you’re poor in California’s San Joaquin Valley farm country, it’s hard to find reasonably priced nutritious food. Full-service grocery stores steer clear of low-income areas, leaving the residents reliant on convenience stores with huge mark-ups or long trips to far-away grocery stores (quite a challenge for those without a car). The San Joaquin food desert also affects the rest of us: for example, unhealthy diets can lead to costly conditions like obesity and diabetes, with the treatment costs probably being paid by public programs like Medicaid or causing higher premiums for everyone. The article cites an amazing statistic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the poorest 20% of households spend 20% of their income on food, while the richest 20% spend only 3.3%. Unfortunately, because of the economic downturn and tight margins in the grocery business, new stores aren’t expected in the near future. (Fresno Bee, via civileater’s twitter feed)

One Responseto “High food costs for the poor in California’s farm country”

  1. “Long trips to far-away grocery stores.” Interesting wording. Welcome to rural America where the trip is much longer. The other interesting aspect of this is that aren’t we supposed to encourage supporting local small stores over the big Super-Markets? Buy local and all that. *sigh*