Food Desert & Food Balance Community Fact Sheet Sheds Light on the Importance of Mainstream Access to Healthy Food

Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting and Save-A-Lot Food Stores Release Educational Information

Jun 02, 2010, 08:00 ET from Save-A-Lot Food Stores

ST. LOUIS, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group and Save-A-Lot Food Stores have joined forces to raise awareness of the plight of millions of families in the United States who live in food deserts — large geographic areas with very few, if any, grocery stores. The just released Food Desert & Food Balance Community Fact Sheet, authored by Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting and supported by the hard discount food retailer, explains in-depth the problem so many Americans face today and the health consequences for those who live in food deserts.

As the country's leading food desert expert Mari Gallagher has conducted groundbreaking research showing that residents of food deserts are more likely to suffer prematurely and die from diet-related diseases such as diabetes and obesity.  The Food Desert & Food Balance Community Fact Sheet provides the foundation for understanding this complex issue with definitions, illustrations and tables while offering general guidelines and steps communities can take to address these food issues.

Key aspects addressed in this document include food deserts, the Food Balance Theory, The Convenience Food Factor, food access and an excerpt from an in-depth study on the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago. The Fact Sheet is available for download at or

"Access to mainstream grocery stores is critical for community health," says Gallagher. "We are thrilled to release The Food Desert & Food Balance Community Fact Sheet in partnership with Save-A-Lot as it will help leaders in underserved areas throughout the country evaluate local conditions and take action to improve food offerings for better community health and wellness."

Save-A-Lot is helping to change the food access landscape through its aggressive growth plan to double the number of stores to 2,400 over the next five years, of which many will be in underserved communities. For more than 30 years, Save-A-Lot Food Stores have been serving urban and rural communities and providing families with much-needed healthier foods at affordable prices.

"As a value-centered company, Save-A-Lot invests in neighborhoods and communities in dire need of access to affordable, more nutritious food," said Bill Shaner, president and CEO of Save-A-Lot. "We are committed to providing our shoppers with the food they need to feed and care for their families at consistently low prices — up to 40 percent less than conventional grocery stores."

Millions of families who live in nationally recognized food deserts in communities and cities throughout the country contend with little or no access to healthier foods in their neighborhoods while unhealthy food sources are located nearby. As First Lady Michelle Obama has pointed out, this lack of access can lead to a decreased quality of life with health issues such as obesity, even diabetes and heart disease.

About Save-A-Lot Food Stores

Save-A-Lot is one of the nation's leading hard discount, carefully selected assortment grocery chains, operating nearly 1,200 stores in 39 states from Maine to California. Serving more than 5 million shoppers each week, Save-A-Lot offers a savings of up to 40 percent on groceries when compared to conventional stores. Customers enjoy savings on exclusive Save-A-Lot brands and national brands, plus fresh meat and farm-fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy, along with the most popular grocery and household items. Save-A-Lot helps its customers live richer, fuller lives by saving them money and time through a smart, convenient shopping experience featuring great food, great prices and great people every day. For more information on Save-A-Lot or to locate a store, please visit

About MG:

Mari Gallagher is President of Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group ( and the National Center for Public Research (, both headquartered in Chicago. MG authored Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago, a breakthrough study that popularized the term "Food Desert" nationally in 2006.

SOURCE Save-A-Lot Food Stores