Why Does It Matter?
Lack of access to nutritious foods can have a negative impact on a person's overall health.
Not being able to access healthy foods may result in using cheaper, less nutritious options that can lead to becoming overweight, developing chronic diseases, or shortening one’s lifespan.
The Omaha-Council Bluffs metro has a high concentration of food deserts—specifically in the northeast and southeast sections of Omaha, and western portions of Council Bluffs. These areas typically have a much higher unemployment rate, high poverty, and a greater percentage of people who receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP is a federal program that works with states to provide monetary assistance for individuals and families who qualify to purchase food. It is important to remember that even though people may have access to SNAP, they may live in a food desert and not have the necessary transportation to get to a store that provides healthy, affordable food. Also, many low-income families may be juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet and may not have the time to cook healthy meals.