COVID-19 and the Food Desert Next Door

Everyone in America deserves access to nutritious food — but that’s not always a reality.

What to know:

  • A food desert is a geographic area that's more than a mile away from a supermarket.
  • About 19 million people in the US live in low-income areas that are classified as food deserts.
  • Learn more about food insecurity and the impact of COVID-19 on already vulnerable communities.

Learn More about this cause:

Globally, hunger is a rising problem and the statistics are staggering. More than 820 million people worldwide are experiencing chronic hunger. Many also face related food insecurity, which is when there is a lack of reliable access to affordable, healthy, and nutritious foods because of physical, economic, or social reasons. The ripple effects can be devastating, with consequences including malnutrition, childhood stunting and wasting, obesity, and various diet-related diseases like diabetes. The number of people impacted is projected to rise dramatically with the onset of COVID-19.

In the US alone, about 40 million people struggle with limited and uncertain access to food, including 12 million children. Many live in “food deserts,” a term that describes geographic areas that are more than one mile away from a supermarket, meaning they often lack access to fresh produce and healthy, nutritious food. Low-income communities are disproportionately affected and those already at risk are hit even harder in times of crisis.

That’s why our partner WW supports initiatives across 11 countries that are working to provide underserved communities with fresh fruits and vegetables to families who need it most. WW has also committed $2 million to non-profit partners that will provide up to 10 million meals and 3 million pounds of fresh produce to support COVID-19 relief efforts.

Watch the video and take the quiz to learn more about food deserts and the impact of food insecurity across the US.