Study: There’s A Supermarket Shortage In Mass.

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A new study says Massachusetts is suffering from a shortage of supermarkets that stock fresh, nutritious food.

The report scheduled for release Monday by the Massachusetts Public Health Association was conducted by public health advocacy group, the Food Trust.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Deb Lawler talks to Chris Flynn of the Massachusetts Food Association

“I think what the report is trying to say is that, a lot of people sell food,” Flynn told WBZ NewsRadio 1030, noting that “competition is fierce.”

“But the question is where there is the nutritious food and that’s in grocery stores and supermarkets and I think most of the state is covered.  There are just certain areas what are called ‘food deserts’ where there is an absence of grocery stores.”

The Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts ranks third from the bottom among all states. The problem is particularly acute in urban areas and rural parts of central and western Massachusetts.

In Lowell and Fitchburg, the number of supermarkets would need to double to be in line with the national average. In Boston, Springfield, and Brockton, there are about 30 percent fewer supermarkets per person than the national average.

Representatives of state government, health advocates, and the supermarket industry are working on ways to attract more grocery stores to underserved areas.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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