The USDA defines food deserts as geographic areas where access to nutritious, affordable, healthy foods is extremely limited, or otherwise absent. Food deserts in DC overlie census tracts in which more than half of residents have incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level, making it nearly impossible for those people to eat healthy. Wards 7 and 8, the two wards with the lowest average household incomes, have 16% of the District's grocery stores but 23% of the city's population, while Wards 2 and 3, the two with the highest average household incomes, have 44% of the city's grocery stores and 27% of the population. This leads to high rates of overweight and obesity - over half of DC residents are overweight or obese. In Ward 8, which is most plagued by food deserts, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is 71.5%.
The FEED DC Act of 2010 will:
1) Improve access to healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods;
2) Encourage green technology in food stores; and
3) Create jobs in areas of high unemployment.