food trucks in a food grassland

DDD plots Detroit-area grocery stores. Photo credit: Data Driven Detroit

1. Data Driven Detroit does some good stuff.

This map of grocery stores located in Detroit, featured in DDD’s most recent newsletter (linked above), depicts the 115 grocery stores that meet their criteria for supplying produce (essentially more than alcohol, tobacco, and chips). The authors analyzed the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, or Bridge cards, in these 155 stores, tracking where users spent EBT dollars. They found that that a significant portion is exchanged for groceries outside of the city’s borders.

When I first spotted this map, I hoped that the analysis would be based at least in part on how far and how long it took a Detroit resident (with and without a car) to access these full service grocery stores. The authors acknowledge that while Detroit is not a food desert in the traditional sense, it fits the bill for a “food grassland,” where distinct pockets within the city do not have ready access to the plotted grocery stores. A next step to determine accessibility would have to take transport times and perhaps store hours (sometimes it’s hard to get to a store if it closes at 7PM post work if you have a commute… hence my dinner of whatever is in the fridge… for the third night…) into account.

2. More food truck news!  First stop September 27th from 4PM to 8PM! Let’s go! Eastern Market Stand 2! Here’s their Facebook page!