The pandemic has changed food purchases for the rich and the poor
While wealthier people switched to ordering online and made more supplies, most low-income people had to shop at local small food stores and dollar stores and had to do so regularly because they couldn’t afford groceries.
This is the case in a study that looked at human trafficking data from nearly 400 food vendors in Columbus, Ohio, before closing (January 6 – March 15), closing (March 16 to April 19) and the initial period. reopening (April 20 to May 31).
With the city’s middle and high-end grocery stores and large grocery stores blocked in the city, there have been significant declines in dollar stores and smaller independent groceries – especially in low-income neighborhoods and serving people of many colors – with little reduction in customer visits.
“Most low-income people have still had to shop for food during COVID closures and may not have had the financial capacity to supply food,” said research author Armita Kar, a doctoral student in geography at Ohio University.
“They made fewer trips to the mid- and high-end grocery stores outside the neighborhood and continued to visit their nearest stores on a regular basis, which is dollar stores and local groceries,” Kar said in a university note.
The problems with bad people in pandemic blockades are not new, says Huyen Le, author of the study, an assistant professor of geography at Ohio State.
“COVID-19 exacerbated the problems of unbalanced access to food for low-income people,” Le said.
“The rich and poor used to shop at various grocery stores before COVID-19, and these differences were even more pronounced when the closure occurred,” said Harvey Miller, author of the study, director of the Ohio State Center for Urban and Regional Analysis.
The findings underscore the need to provide better purchasing opportunities for low-income people living in so-called food deserts.
“Dollar stores mostly offer packaged and highly processed unhealthy foods,” Leek said. “Politicians should look at ways to provide better shopping opportunities for people in low-income areas so that they have better access to healthy foods.”
The study will be published in the September issue of the journal Applied Geography.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides advice healthy eating with a budget.
SOURCE: Ohio State University, news, July 19, 2021