USDA's Food and Nutrition Service Under Secretary Kevin Concannon says food deserts are a serious issue for people in rural areas and even in some cites looking for a variety of food choices.
"Food deserts are rural as well as urban places in the country where people have to go long distances to access a full service supermarket," Concannon said. "Many small communities over time as population demographics change, they might be left with simply a kind of a one-stop mini-mart without ready access to a close-by supermarket."
Concannon says those mini-marts don't have the range of choices of healthy foods and it's much more expensive to purchase foods there as well. So USDA is working to help rural Americans with a new food initiative.
"Through grant programs and loan programs, we can stimulate the development of supermarkets or full service stores in targeted areas across the country," Concannon said.