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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (12)
  1. peggy says:

    How do i get in to comment? I am not into facebook!

  2. Peggy says:

    I really wonder if the rents along with utlities and taxes drive supermarkets away? I know for sure the employees do not over exceed the amout of cash markets do pull in! I do miss having a regular-not super, supermarket near!

    1. Brian says:

      Peggy, I work at one of the busiest supermarkets in Massachusetts and New England. The company pays $209,000 A MONTH IN RENT! A MONTH! FOR ONE STORE! If payroll is about $100k a week and then you got other expenses that are close to that mark, grocery stores have to pull over $400,000 a week depending on where in Mass they are to at least be in an area of comfort.

      1. Cynic says:

        I read somewhere a long time ago that for every dollar a supermarket takes in 1 Cent is profit.They rely on a tremendous volumn. Could that be true?

  3. Lori says:

    Big Y is good, Market Basket & Hanafords not so bad… Price Chopper, their quality of meats & dairy is VERY bad. I go o Big Y now.

  4. AnnMarie says:

    i have very good with market basket and hanafords foods
    all the meats and Dairy are very good on price,
    but shaws i would never go shop there they are over price

  5. hoofarted says:

    The state needs to mid their own business…There are pleny of options for healthy food in any grocery store.

    Because people don’t buy it doesn’t mean we need more grocery stores…

    All they will do now is lobby and mandate that store carry healthy food, which will drive up the prices on everything.

    The state should not have any worries about what we are eating, that is NOT the job of the government.

  6. Alan - Leominster, MA says:

    I was sorely disappointed when Market Basket discontinued having Garelick Farms be the supplier to put up the majority of their dairy line. Market Basket store brand dairy used to be done by Garelick, but now it is some other company and I don’t enjoy it nearly as much. Living in central Mass, I find it frustrating all the times that Market Basket is out of produce items that I want to buy. With the limited number of supermarkets in central Mass, they should watch their stocking levels better so I can buy the fresh produce I need.

  7. CEO says:

    So, after reading the Globe article, it seems they want to use taxpayers’ money to lure stores to unprofitable areas. Why? So they can fail later?

    It’s pretty simple, when you turn your own neighborhood into a crime-ridden dump, nobody in their right mind wants to open a legitimate business there.

    1. Cynic says:

      Right after I made my comment about Morton Street I had the same thought.On the other hand the Stop and Shop in Grove Hall seems to have worked out well.At one time Grove Hall was the absolute pits even the Cops didn’t like to go there.Is it posible a well designed Market encourage change in the neighborhood around it?

  8. Cynic says:

    On Morton Street in Mattappan there is a Gigantic building across from the old Police Station Three that has been vacant for years. That would be a great place for a Market Basket. It’s too bad that City incentives are only available to Stop and Shop.This area hasn’t had a Supermarket since the Capitol Market at Morton and Gallavan Blvd. Closed years ago.

  9. Ben says:

    Urban areas also seem to have shortage of common sense that allows somebody to walk past the Twinkies and Doritos and buy fruit and vegetables instead. Instead of trying to have the taxpayers provide invcentives for supermarkets to locate in these areas, how about restricting what types of food you can buy with food stamps? Have Michelle Obama create a list of “approved” food items as part of her anti-obesity program.

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