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Tuscaloosa, AL deserves a good grocery store

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Tuscaloosa, AL currently lacks a good grocery store (a grocery store that provides high quality foods of a wide variety and high nutritional value). While the town is not entirely a food desert, there are substantial parts of town which are food deserts. A food desert is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as "low-income areas where a significant number or share of residents is far from a supermarket, where 'far' is more than 1 mile in urban areas and more than 10 miles in rural areas" (http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas/go-to-the-atlas.aspx#.U5iWIFhdWjI).

Furthermore, even in the areas of town which are not food deserts, there are nonetheless no grocery stores that provide a variety of affordable produce and diet-friendly foods (for example a gluten-free diet). The dearth of good quality food is a huge factor in Alabamian obesity and lack of nutritional knowledge. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 69.0% of adults in Alabama were overweight and 32.2% of Alabamian adults were obese (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/stateprograms/fundedstates/alabama.html). Furthermore, Alabama has one of the highest rates of childhood weight problems, 46th in the country, having 36.1% overweight or obese children (http://www.nichq.org/pdf/Alabama.pdf). This problem is only getting worse, and only education AND availability of nutritional foods will change these shocking statistics.

With this petition we are showing our support for the construction of a grocery store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, which provides a huge variety of high quality produce and meats, in the town of Tuscaloosa, AL.

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