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'A real crisis in Louisville': Readers respond to food desert series

Fellowship Story Showcase

'A real crisis in Louisville': Readers respond to food desert series

Picture of Bailey Loosemore

The Courier Journal's continued coverage of food insecurity in Louisville is supported by the University of Southern California Center for Health Journalism's 2018 National Fellowship.

Other stories in this series include:

Tell us: How do you get food where you live in Louisville?

Dare to Care relocation may bring job training, grocery to the West End

Shelby Park's Save-A-Lot closed with little warning to neighbors

Sorry, we're closed: How everyone is hurt when grocery stores shut down

In 30 seconds: What you should know about food deserts in Louisville

Tuition or food? How college kids use food pantries to help food insecurity

Louisville has a fresh food problem. Can we fix it?

'A real crisis in Louisville': Readers respond to food desert series

How a low-income Louisville neighborhood became a fresh food oasis

How can cities end food deserts? Here are 4 solutions that worked

Louisville families shouldn't be struggling to find fresh food

No grocery store in your neighborhood? Join forces to create one

People can't get to a grocery store easily. So these volunteers are driving them

Would you shop at a mobile grocery store? Kroger is betting on it 

Where You Live Determines How Much Your Eggs Cost at Kroger

How some residents get their food in Louisville's food deserts

Louisville's vacant grocery stores find new tenants. But they won't sell food

How these Louisville companies are helping employees buy affordable fresh produce

Can indoor farming fix food deserts? These Louisville students think so

Kentucky's hunger initiative earns national attention. But thousands still need food

Downtown Louisville is growing rapidly. So why doesn't it have a grocery store?

Is crime driving grocery stores out of Louisville's low-income communities?

Louisville kids are still at risk for lead poisoning. Here's how healthy eating can help

When will downtown Louisville get a grocery store? Here's what we found

Everything you need to know about Kroger's mobile grocery store in Louisville

Kroger's mobile market brings fresh food to Louisville neighborhoods without access

This nonprofit leader is giving west Louisville the black-owned grocery it 'deserves'

Ebonne Ingram-Jones Nikki Boliaux & Andrea Brutny, Courier Journal
Ebonne Ingram-Jones
(Photo Credit: Nikki Boliaux & Andrea Brutny/Courier Journal)
Courier Journal
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Last week, the Courier Journal published a series of stories that explored food access in Louisville. The articles showed how inadequate access to groceries can lead to health disparities in predominantly low-income neighborhoods and took a look at what people across the city are doing to address the issues.

In the days since, readers from across the county, region and even the nation have reached out to discuss the issues further — making it clear that this is a conversation many want to have.

The Courier Journal will be dedicated to reporting on food insecurity and improving food access in 2019.

Already, we've been able to update you on a mobile grocery store project — which Dare to Care Food Bank announced Tuesday in partnership with Kroger and Louisville Forward, the city's economic development arm.

But we'd like to hear more about what you want to know — and what solutions you think our community could try.

Here are a few ideas we've already received from current and past Louisvillians:


"I feel TARC should offer more Shopper buses at a discounted rate or at least offer more pick up locations. I feel agencies could provide carts for people to transport food home." — Rhonda W.


"The city of Louisville needs to provide attractive financial incentives to small, medium, and large grocers to construct new buildings or move into existing smaller structures in depressed areas of Louisville. Perhaps some funding and space is still available around 18th and Broadway (where a YMCA and Passport Health Plan's headquartersare under construction) to assist with this grocery concern. New grocers that may move into these areas should include two desktop computers with internet access so customers can create shopping lists to save for future purchase delivery. Grocers would also need to be able to collect customer orders on a recurring basis for possible pickup by a third party like Grubhub, Uber drivers, or others. Customers could then use their TARC bus money to pay for home grocery delivery." — Laura Perkins


"Government-sponsored economic development efforts often provide tax incentives to attract business. Why can't similar efforts be used to attract grocery and other needed retail operations to underserved neighborhoods?" — Michael Bateman


"I think the mobile grocery is an excellent idea, but I think it will not be the answer for people who are elderly or others who have mobility issues and could not get out to shop in the mobile grocery. Could it operate for these people like a Schwan's truck does? They could get a food order form each week and the order delivered once a week.

If having enough people to do such a food delivery is prohibitive, what about utilizing public servants like firemen and policemen? Policemen are probably patrolling many neighborhoods anyway. It might also have the added benefit of new-found respect for our men and women in blue." — Landis Thompson


"The city should procure grocery services. It may be costly; however, grocery stores could be the pivot-point for neighborhood revitalization efforts (and they have to employ somebody — why not people from the neighborhoods?). If we can figure out how to subsidize the Omni, the Yum Center, a soccer stadium, two new bridges, and luxury apartments on East Broadway and 4th Street, then we should figure out how to pay grocery stores to set up shop in areas without access." — Tony M.


"This is a real crisis in Louisville. I know about this first-hand. The mayor should be wooing grocery chains into impoverished areas with incentives to low-income areas without grocery stores. More independent grocers should be encouraged by the mayor to open up groceries. No one should go hungry. Greater emphasis should be placed on where a hungry person should go to get food. Locations of food sources should be disseminated to the general public, especially in low-income areas." — Linda Kanter


"If you want the city/downtown to grow into a vibrant urban destination you need the chain supermarket(s) and drug store(s) easily available to attract and bring people without a car to live there. And most without or with a car hesitate to even consider living there if these basics aren't accessible. Many move away. Some of the out-of-the-box ideas of food banks/co-ops and delivery services are probably expensive for average residents. Somehow the city needs to lure, beg, or bribe a big box food and drug to open downtown with some kind of promise of huge tax/expense/compensation enticements. Fast. Especially with all the new housing popping up. If more folks move there, the need for basic services increases and thus businesses open up to cater to them. Then more folks arrive, more amenities, etc. I toured your downtown twice in 2017 as I was/am interested in relocating to Louisville. ... And until these basics open in your downtown I'm staying in mine - 5 blocks from a Trader Joes! A shame because Louisville has a lot going for it."  — David Rison of Chicago

[This story was originally published by Courier Journal.]