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Crime blamed for ‘food desert’ proliferation (access required)

By Caitlin Coakley It’s a stark difference between the northwest Charlotte area and the upper-middle class areas south of the city. In the Pineville area, there are grocery stores on seemingly every corner: Fresh Markets, Harris Teeters, even lower-priced stores like Food Lion and Bi-Lo. But in the northwest area, the number of grocery stores dwindles and, in many cases, dries up altogether. That area, where 72,793 Mecklenburg County residents live, is where the “food deserts” are, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council’s Community Food Assessment 2010. A food desert, according to the report, is a low-income census block group that does not contain a store selling fresh produce, fresh meat or fresh dairy products.

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