DC’s Scarcity of Grocery Stores

by Mark Wellborn

DC’s Scarcity of Grocery Stores

Does DC not have enough grocery stores? In a post on the blog Greater Greater Washington yesterday, family demographer Lynda Laughlin made the case that grocery stores are “few and far between” in many parts of the city.

Laughlin’s research found that there were 16 grocery stores in Wards 2 and 3, approximately one store for every 8,911 residents. However, in Ward 4, the city’s most populated ward, there was only one store and Wards 7 and 8 only have three grocery stores, one for every 45,000 residents.

Laughlin’s conclusion:

“Communities with large populations in poverty or large minority populations have poor access to grocery stores. Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8 are all majority African-American and all have large numbers of residents living in poverty, while wealthier, whiter Wards 2 and 3 have almost half the city’s grocery stores.”

How is your access to grocery stores?

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcs_scarcity_of_grocery_stores/468


  1. rdhd said at 8:21 pm on Monday January 26, 2009:
    Two comments: Even if the grocery stores are around, it doesn't mean they're any good. We've about given up on our two nearby Safeways, the Giant is ridiculously small, the SuperFresh is pretty good but lacks quality produce, fish, etc., and Whole Foods can be frustrating for every day items like and anything with artificial sweetner (I'm diabetic). Second, I remember about a year back (?) a WaPo article about the new grocery store in Ward 8. It included a map that showed at least a half dozen right across the line in PG. Within a mile or two easily. So I'm not sure an actual count is useful. Heck, when the new Whole Foods opens on Wisc, that'll actually be in MoCo.
  1. ET said at 9:17 pm on Monday January 26, 2009:
    I got lucky on the Hill. Safeway 2 blocks away and Harris Teeter 5 blocks away. Of course when I first moved in it was horribly only the Safeway (AKA the UnSafeway). I remember when the Council was up in arms because the store (or stores) on the other side of the Anacostia closed down and there were not groceries in DC on that side of the river. Since then Harris Teeter and Whole Foods moved in a few places and now there is the Giant at Rhode Island Metro and a new Safeway near NY Ave and the entrance to 395. Things are better on the West side of the river, maybe not so much on the East.
  1. DCbuppie said at 6:34 pm on Sunday February 22, 2009:
    Well Noma is getting that Harris Teeter. YAYA and that City Vista Safeway is up... But overall I agree. Our groceries suck.

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