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Thousands in Cuyahoga County Don't Have Easy Access to Healthy Food

map of Cuyahoga County food deserts

A new study released by Cuyahoga County officials finds that as many as 450-thousand people do not live in areas where they can easily buy healthy food.

Coined “food deserts,” people in these areas do not live close to supermarkets, making them rely on places like gas stations and convenience stores to get their food.

Cleveland Councilman Terrell Pruitt says food deserts are not only bad for health, but they hurt the community, too.

“A lot of people won’t stay. They make the decision to stay in a particular community if there is a burden. Whatever the burden is, it’s not easy living in the city. But if you increase the burden by not being able to shop locally, not having access to things you’re looking for, the first opportunity people get, they take off. And that really undermines the fabric of these neighborhoods.”

Pruitt says City Council is currently “bending over backwards” to get supermarkets to move into Cleveland’s low-income neighborhoods, especially on the west side.