Detroit's Food Economy

Wanna Buy Your Kid An Apple? Not So Easy In Detroit.

by: Mikel Ellcessor & Michelle Srbinovich

February 8, 2013

WDET has been analyzing and mapping Detroit's food economy. One of the main findings has been the stark, unequal distribution of healthy, affordable food options. The impact of this inequality is magnified when the low product diversity and lack of fresh food are the dominant features in the six neighborhoods that are home to 30% of Detroit's children. Based on conversations with nutritionists, WDET developed a shopping list of four basic food items that any parent would want to stock for their children. WDET's reporters and interns visited 246 SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) retailers over the course of three weeks. Of the 240 stores that were open and we were able to survey, WDET discovered that:

79% did not have chicken breast
75% did not have apples
14.6% did not have reduced fat milk
44% did not have wheat bread

86.6% of SNAP retailers were not able to deliver 100% of the shopping list.

With the help of our friends at WNYC and The Takeaway, we mapped each of retailers we visited along with photos of what we saw.


A special thank you to Data Driven Detroit for their assistance in providing the boundaries of Skillman's "Good Neighborhoods".


This series is made possible by the generous support of our Sustaining Members. Because of you, WDET can bring this critical story to everyone in our region.