USDA Launches Online Mapping Tool that Locates “Food Deserts”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an Internet mapping tool that locates “food deserts” in the country. Designed to help policy makers, community planners and researchers bring nutritious food to low-income communities that lack accessibility to grocery stores, the Food Desert Locator is part of first lady Michele Obama’s initiative addressing the childhood obesity epidemic. “With this and other Web tools, USDA is continuing to support federal government efforts to present complex sets of data in creative, accessible online formats,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was quoted as saying. See USDA Press Release, May 2, 2011.