Thursday, February 21, 2008
Neighborhoods Struggle as Number of New York Groceries Drops by 1/3
As climbing real-estate prices have forced neighborhood groceries across the city to close, many New Yorkers are rapidly losing access to fresh food sources. While high-end grocers have recently seen an increase in profits, the total number of supermarkets in the five boroughs has dropped by one third in the past six years. Grocers have been unable to absorb the soaring cost of rent, especially in areas of rapid real-estate development. The lack of local grocers has already led to higher rates of obesity and diabetes in
Bronx neighborhoods, as residents turn to bodegas as their primary source of food. The city hopes to deter this trend by introducing Green Carts to struggling neighborhoods and encouraging bodegas to stock healthier products, while state officials have announced plans for a supermarket commission to address the needs of both grocers and food-scarce neighborhoods.