Executives from Wal-Mart, Walgreens, SuperValu and other major retailers have made a pledge to open or expand 1,500 stores in communities across the country that have little or no access to healthy foods.

The Partnership for a Healthy America, part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity, will help bring affordable and healthy food to millions of Americans who live in those designated “food deserts.”

According to the New York Times, the Department of Agriculture defines “food deserts” as “low-income areas where more than 500 people or 33 percent of the population lives more than one mile from an affordable food store.”

Because of the lack of accessible healthy options, many in these areas turn to fast food restaurants and convenience stores for their food.

The paper reports that Walgreens will turn a thousand of its locations into “food oasis stores” that will sell fruits and vegetables. Wal-Mart will also expand its food sections in up to 300 stores by 2016.

Mrs. Obama, who has taken up childhood obesity as one of her main causes, said that the “food deserts” contribute to the problem, as more than 6 million children live in those areas.



Photo Credit: Maryland Pride, via Wikimedia Commons