food desert


: an area where little fresh produce is available for sale
Despite the common perception of food deserts as city neighborhoods where fast food chains and convenience stores dominate, many of Kansas' food deserts are in rural areas. In some, residents have to drive 20 miles or farther to find a source of healthful food.Megan Hart

Examples of food desert in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Economists and public health experts noted that eating habits are hard to break and food deserts offer few options that allow consumers to switch things up. Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Their growth has emanated from a clever strategy: catering to cities that want to address their food deserts. Gary Stern, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Many come from marginalized and underrepresented groups and are single parents living in food deserts. Steven Aquino, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 The most important issues facing Mecklenburg County are equitable education for our scholars from pre-K through college/career training; safe, equitable housing; food security, especially in the six ZIP codes deemed food deserts; and reducing gun violence. Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 The cancellation came as a disappointment to the community, especially the Harambee neighborhood, which VGI executive director Dr. Sandra Jones described as a food desert. Journal Sentinel, 27 Feb. 2024 Across the street are empty fields and roads leading into neighborhoods that have been designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a low-income food desert. Christine Wen, The Conversation, 15 Feb. 2024 However, west Charlotte — made up of predominantly Black neighborhoods — is considered a food desert. Catherine Muccigrosso, Charlotte Observer, 26 Jan. 2024 And on the West side, Love In Action Cafe is succeeding in bringing nutritious food and solid community to a food desert. Kristen Kornbluth, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'food desert.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1988, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of food desert was in 1988

Dictionary Entries Near food desert

Cite this Entry

“Food desert.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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