91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A food desert in Michigan you never hear about: the Upper Peninsula

Grocery cart
user mytvdinner
Michigan will spread out its food stamp distributions throughout the month beginning Jan. 4, 2011

When we talk in Michigan about "food insecurity" and "food deserts", it's usually about Detroit, Flint and cities battling poverty.

But there is another region where access to healthy, fresh food is a constant challenge: the Upper Peninsula.

Take Alger County. It has been classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a "low income, low access community." That means people have to drive at least ten miles to get to a fully stocked grocery store.

John Sherman-Jones is co-founder and chair of the Alger Community Food Pantry. He says because Alger County is so spread out, it's not unusual for people to drive a long way to get to a well stocked grocery store. While small stores are available here and there, they often don't have fresh and seasonal produce selections for residents.

Matt Raven is a professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. He and his team are developing an incubator farm in Alger County as a way to combat food insecurity. According to Raven, the program aims to provide resources and training to local farmers with necessary skills to apply to their own lands.


Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
Related Content