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Food deserts in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

On almost every urban block...you can find convenience stores...but the same can't be said about grocery stores.

Some areas in Dubuque are known as food deserts....meaning they lack grocery stores...leaving some to figure out how to get groceries.

"It's really hard to get a ride sometimes, and the taxis are expensive for some.  I think it would benefit if they had more grocery stores," said Susie Letts of Dubuque.

The USDA says Dubuque's food deserts are located east of Central Avenue and on the city's south end.

Letts  lives in the area and says more grocery stores wouldn't hurt. ""I do see a lot of walkers, I suppose it would be nicer to have a closer one to Marshall school, down in that area," she added.

But food deserts are not only an issue in urban areas, like here in the city of Dubuque, they're also an issue in rural areas.  In parts of Delaware County, people have to drive more than 10 miles to the nearest grocery store.

Food experts say the lack of grocery stores limits the access to affordable, nutritious foods...such as fruits and veggies.

Letts has to travel about five miles to get what she wants. "I like going to Fareway the most, I do go to Wal-Mart, because the prices at Eagle is a little bit steep, but I just can get better buys at Fareway.  I have to get a ride for that," she said.

To help address issues with local food in Dubuque -- a public meeting will be  held on January 18th by Iowa State University Extension.

It's set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Multicultural Family Center.

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