Prince George's County Tries to Address Food Deserts - NBC4 Washington

Prince George's County Tries to Address Food Deserts



    Grocery stores appear to be hard to come by in Prince George's County. Some areas are even considered a "Food Desert" by the USDA. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins tells us the work being done to change it. (Published Thursday, March 21, 2013)

    The lack of versatile grocery and restaurant options in Prince George’s County has created what are known as food deserts, according to the USDA.

    Bowie residents have been fighting for 10 years to get a Trader Joe’s. A Facebook page has once again ignited the conversation.

    Bowie has lost two of its grocery stores in recent years, and the county has lost a total of eight since 2006.

    University Park has been in a back and forth with Cafritz Development over the construction of a proposed Whole Foods that would anchor a mixed-use development.

    “Why not let the deal move as quickly as it can?” Mayor John Tabori said. “What is the problem here? I think it’s a real change issue, a transformation issue.”

    That includes concerns about traffic increasing on Route 1, but many Prince Georgians support it because they currently shop out of the county.

    Land use restrictions are mostly to blame for delaying the project. Such debates further complicate issues when it comes to giving the people of Prince George's what they need.

    John Henry King, who heads economic development in Bowie, said there’s money is in Prince George’s and he’s hoping better food options will soon follow.

    The Prince George’s County Planning Department has formed a task force to investigate and develop solutions for food deserts.