Food Deserts: Background information when reading Save Yourself

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Save Yourself

by Kelly Braffet

Save Yourself
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    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2013, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2014, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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Beyond the Book:
Food Deserts

In Save Yourself, Patrick Cusimano works at Zoney's, a 24-hour convenience store in a small fictional town in Pennsylvania called Ratchetsburg. He finds his candy-striped uniform and the sterile atmosphere of the place stifling, yet work here is one of just a few options for town residents. From what Braffet describes, it seems like Zoney's is the only food store around for miles. Such areas, where access to fresh produce and food is quite limited, are labeled "food deserts."

Food Desert MapAccording to the USDA, an area qualifies as a food desert if it is both a "low-income" community and also a "low-access" community. "Low income" as defined for these purposes by the USDA is a census tract (a statistical segment of a county designated for census purposes) with 20 percent or more of the population living below the poverty line. "Low-access" is defined as 500 people or 33 percent of a census tract's population living more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store. Food deserts can be...

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