The United States Department of Agriculture defines food deserts as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets, and healthy food providers.
There are over a dozen food deserts identified on Long Island by the USDA. Click on the deserts to learn more about them.
Data is according to the USDA and the 2010 U.S. Census.
A large food desert covers Huntington Station where the closest supermarkets that sell proper, nutritious food lie in the outskirts of the hamlet. Nearly one out of every three households in this area is considered food insecure by the U.S. government.
This food desert is located between Long Beach Blvd and Lindell Blvd, where residents' only source of nutritious food is a Stop & Shop half-an-hour away. But over 25 percent of the households here have no cars or dependable public transportation route.
This food desert stretches from Hofstra University to Hempstead Lake State Park, including multiple public housing units in the Town of Hempstead. Fast food restaurants are abundant in this food deserts, where over a third of the households lack cars.
This food desert is located in Sea Cliff between two country clubs. Although public transportation in the form of the N21 bus runs through this food desert, residents are stuck with only one supermarket in Glen Cove that sells nutritious foods.
This food desert lies in the hamlet of Wyandanch, which has poor public transportation routes, and the nearest supermarket is about two miles away. Like in Huntington Station, about a thrid of the households here are considered food insecure by the U.S. government.
Like the one in Hempstead, this food desert is large and covers most of the hamlet of Roosevelt and the Village of Freeport. The only supermarkets with adequate amounts of nutrititous foods are located in the neighboring villages.
This food desert encompasses Brentwood and parts of Central Islip. This food desert is large like the one in Freeport and Hempstead. This area has been hit hard by foreclosures and gang violence. Almost 40 perecent of the households here are considered food insecure by the U.S. government.
This food desert covers a long stretch of land along the village of Bellport that includes children's public housing units. There is no reliable source of public transportation in this area to get to the closest fullservice supermarket three miles away.
The food desert here covers almost half of the Village of Mastic Beach. The only source of proper, nutrtious food lies just north of Mastic Beach. It's over two miles away, and residents lack a public transportation route to get there.
There are two neighboring food deserts in the hamlet of Mastic that streach across the hamlets of Shirley and Moriches. About half of the households in Mastic are considered food insecure by the U.S. government.
This food desert is in the hamlet of Ridge and lies between Brookhaven State Park and Rocky Point State Pine Barrens Preserve. The nearest supermarkets with adequate amounts of nutritious foods are two King Kullens located four miles away to the east and to the west.
This food desert encompasses the hamlet of Flanders, which is surrounded by various country clubs that take up most of the land. But for residents who live in Flanders' outskirts, the nearest source of abundant, nutrtitious food is a Stop & Shop five miles away. There is no form of public transportation that residents can take to that supermarket.