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|APME Update, Dec. 9, 2015|
APME UPDATE – Dec. 9, 2015
SAVE THE DATE
Jan. 21 – NewsTrain in Lexington, Ky.
April 9 – NewsTrain in Lincoln, Nebraska
April 22-23 – NewsTrain in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Date TBA – NewsTrain in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Sept. 12-15 00 ASNE-APME Conference, Philadelphia
AP Analysis: Markets fall short of initiative goals
As part of Michelle Obama's healthy eating initiative, a group of major food retailers promised in 2011 to open or expand 1,500 grocery or convenience stores in and around neighborhoods with no supermarkets by 2016. By their own count, they're far short. An analysis of federal food stamp data by The Associated Press also reveals that the nation's largest chains — not just the handful involved in the first lady's group — have since built new supermarkets in only a fraction of the neighborhoods where they're needed most. The Partnership for a Healthier America, which also promotes good nutrition and exercise in its anti-obesity mission, considers improving access to fresh food a key part of the solution. But the AP's research demonstrates that major grocers overwhelmingly avoid America's food deserts instead of trying to turn a profit in high-poverty areas.
Among the AP's findings:
— The nation's top 75 food retailers opened almost 10,300 stores in new locations from 2011 to the first quarter of 2015, 2,434 of which were grocery stores. Take away convenience stores and "dollar stores," which generally don't sell fresh fruits, vegetables or meat, and barely more than 250 of the new supermarkets were in so-called food deserts, or neighborhoods without stores that offer fresh produce and meats.
— As the largest supermarket chains have been slow to build in food deserts, dollar stores have multiplied rapidly. Three chains — Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree — made up two-thirds of new stores in food deserts. And the dollar store sector is consolidating: Dollar Tree merged with Family Dollar this year, creating the largest dollar-store chain in the nation and, in the process, less competition and less incentive to diversify what these stores offer.
— Excluding dollar stores and 7-Elevens, just 1.4 million of the more than 18 million people the USDA says lived in food deserts as of 2010 got a new supermarket in the past four years.
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