Food Deserts

%

of those on the lowest incomes do not have access to their own transport

What is a Food Desert?

Our shopping habits have changed over the years. Today, most of our food shop than ever before is conducted at major supermarkets, and our ability to shop locally for affordable healthy food has been reduced. Areas where poverty is high are often also those areas with a limited number of food retailers.

85% of those on the lowest incomes do not have access to their own transport, meaning it can be difficult for them to access the same range of good value food retailers that those on higher incomes can. Additionally, people with mobility difficulties often find their options limited when it comes to buying healthy, affordable food. These areas with limited food availability are what we refer to as ‘Food Deserts’. In these areas, regardless of income of residents, there are barriers to obtaining healthy, affordable food. This may relate to the choice on offer, to the prices of food available, or to the accessibility of retailers.

%

of households living in financial difficulty also face problems accessing a good range of food retailers

Food Deserts and The Poverty Premium

The ‘Poverty Premium’ refers to the higher prices that those with limited access to good-value alternatives are forced to pay for basic goods and services such as food, energy and financial services. Save the Children estimates this to be as high as £1,170 per year[1]. While food is only part of this picture, living in a food desert can significantly increase the amount of money required to eat a good, healthy diet[2]. As many as 73% of households living in financial difficulty also face problems accessing a good range of food retailers[3].

 

We’d like to help to change this in Doncaster, and will work to make healthy, affordable food more accessible to everyone.

[1] http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/news/pressroom/resources/reports/overtheodds

[2] https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/oxfam/bitstream/10546/292978/1/rr-walking-readline-food-poverty-britain-300513-en.pdf

[3] https://www.jrf.org.uk/blog/acting-unfair-poverty-premiums-must-be-2017-priority