Any definition of “food desert” encompassing a neighborhood that contains Ahart’s Market and C-town Supermarket is seriously flawed. While neither of these grocery stores is a Wegmans, both contain high-quality produce, meats, dairy, and a large selection of other foods and goods found in most grocery stores. And for more than half the year, there’s an excellent farmers market at Lehigh.
A true food desert is a neighborhood that is served only by a 7-Eleven – like the Historic District just across the river on the near North Side, where I live. It’s also a pharmacy desert, by the way. For many of us these are small flaws in an otherwise great neighborhood, but for others a few blocks farther north, the absence of a nearby grocery store and pharmacy is a real hardship. I’d be delighted to have an Ahart’s and a Rite-Aid pharmacy — where I currently shop — within walking distance of my house!
-Beall Fowler, ’59, and professor emeritus of physics