(WBIR-Knox County) Do you know what a "food desert" is?
The USDA says it is an area that does not have a grocery store within at least one mile, and has at least 20-percent of the population above poverty. Knox County has 20 such locations.
"(The government) looks at a one to 10 mile radius of residential to a grocery store and how you can get there and the access you can do," said James Bosi, the chairman of the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council. The 12-person group monitors availabily and accessibility of fresh food.
One of those locations is the Cumberland Avenue strip, where soon a Publix will open. This would reduce the 20 food deserts down to 19. Having gas stations and restaurants does not count, Bosi added.
"You should be able to bring groceries for home," he said. "Not everyone could eat at a restaurant every night, especially if you're trying to raise a family."
The council is pushing for more grocery stores in designated food deserts. That includes meetings with those neighborhoods.
"To discuss what they would like to have, what they would like to see as far as food access," Bosi said.
USDA has an interactive map for other food deserts across the country. Visit their website for more.