Mapping the Basics in Detroit

You've heard about food deserts — this is what they look like

Friday, February 22, 2013

Map of food stores in Detroit, Michigan. (WNYC)

In northeast Detroit in the neighborhood of Osborn, Robin and Donald Hudson can feed up to ten hungry grandchildren ages three months to 16-years-old on any given day. With five children and 15 grandchildren they stock their basement freezer with 40 pound boxes of chicken. But finding healthy affordable food can often be a challenge.

This is the sort of conversation Robin and Donald Hudson have when they're shopping: 

"I wouldn't get my wheat bread from here — this is $1.79. I'd go to Aldi's and get it for 99 cents. This is $2.49 a pound…that's not going to feed a family."

Not too far away, single mother Tiffany Evans relies of food assistance to feed her two-year-old, and the options for groceries are limited:

"This is the only grocery store that I know of in the neighborhood that has good prices and good groceries. I would have to go far out — like Southgate or Taylor — to go to a Wal-Mart… There's nothing in our neighborhood."

Those two stories highlight the bigger problems of food deserts in Detroit, a problem that's being documented through a new data mapping project in collaboration with WDET and our partner station WNYC.

Laura Weber-Davis is the lead reporter for "Back To Basics," and Tracie McMillan is the author of "The American Way of Eating" and a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan.


Tracie McMillan and Laura Weber

Comments [2]

sonja from Detroit

My comment's are the report was a great topic on how the residents in our city is using their resources to take care of their families including me and my husband.We need to have better places to go and shop.And the prices should be economically price.We as a people can no longer go to these gas station,party stores and buy junk food and the prices are ridiculous.We need to have more corner grocery store's,Bakeries,fish market and it can happen when we speak up and say no more we deserve the best and we should shop at the best stores and live healthier lives

Feb. 26 2013 11:53 AM
RJ from prospect hts, brooklyn

Excuse me, Mr. Hockenbery, but did I hear correctly that you said people in *Detroit* need to understand the problem? Isn't that a bit backward? They are the ones living it--it's the rest of the country that ignores the invisible poverty--food, education, housing, you name it--throughout the country. Particularly, of course, our "anybody but" politicians.

Feb. 22 2013 09:45 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.