Is Boyle Heights a food desert or a food swamp?

Dec. 28, 2012 / By


The newly built grocery store Northgate González market on Fourth Street. Photo by Yazmin Nunez.


By  on December 3, 2012

When a new grocery store opens in many communities in Los Angeles, it doesn’t get a lot of attention. But when the Northgate González grocery store opened in Boyle Heights this fall, L.A. City Councilman José Huízar showed up, along with cheerleaders and members of a marching band.

This is because in Boyle Heights, as in many low-income neighborhoods, supermarkets are rare. In addition, lack of transportation makes getting fresh fruits and vegetables a challenge. As it does in other Latino neighborhoods where it operates, Northgate provides a popular free shuttle.

In many low-income communities, obesity rates have skyrocketed. Some experts believe that improving access to healthy food will enable people to eat more healthily and avoid obesity. But others say that improving access is only part of the solution and that education is key to changing the way people eat.

In Boyle Heights, with a 6.52-square-mile area, there are only four large supermarkets. These include two Food 4 Less markets, a Vallarta and the new Northgate González. The Northgate González store took the place of another market that closed called Super A.

Read more about this article and Boyle Heights Beat


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