food deserts

Infrogmation / Flickr

Dwayne Boudreaux cut the grand opening ribbon on his re-opened Circle Food Store in the 7th Ward last January. But he’s still cutting red tape to get his store to its full potential.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

More than eight years after it flooded and closed due to Hurricane Katrina, the Circle Food Store on the corner of Claiborne and St. Bernard Avenues is about to reopen its doors. The historic landmark served the 7th Ward from 1938 up until the storm, and it’s said to have been the first New Orleans grocery owned and operated by African-Americans. Long time residents and customers voice their reactions to the long-awaited return of this neighborhood staple.

Eve Troeh

One week ago a new Winn-Dixie supermarket opened its doors on Carrollton Avenue, and many people in the neighborhood say that launched a full on grocery war.

Because Rouses Market has a store right across the street.

Giveaways, food samples, contests and entertainment have been the weapons so far. South Louisiana-based Rouses has done a fair share of trash talking about the Florida-based chain Winn-Dixie, to boot.

Can Star Power Make New Orleans' Food Deserts Bloom?

May 16, 2013

Plenty of celebrities leverage their star power to raise awareness of complicated food issues. Some of the biggest names include Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, Prince Charles and Paul McCartney.

Wendell Pierce On 'Making Groceries' In The Big Easy

May 13, 2013



I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Police in New Orleans are investigating a shooting that took place yesterday during a Mother's Day parade. New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas says law enforcement is still investigating the matter.

RONAL SERPAS: It appears that these two or three people just, for a reason unknown to us, started shooting at, towards or in the crowd. It was over in just a couple seconds. Police were everywhere.

A community effort to establish a fresh-food market in the Lower Ninth Ward is taking shape. The first step is in a new plan written by residents.

Plans to redevelop a long-abandoned New Orleans supermarket will include help from the city.

Thursday's announcement from Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office says major funding for the project will come from the New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, which is funded by federal block grants and the nonprofit Hope Enterprise Corporation.

The 60,000 square-foot property on Broad Street in New Orleans' Mid City neighborhood was once a Schwegmann's supermarket. Whole Foods Market said this week it will open a store there as part of a larger redevelopment project.

In recent years, the districts, neighborhoods, and towns that have little access to healthy foods have been dubbed "food deserts." Because some of New Orleans' lowest-income neighborhoods suffer from this situation, the Lower Ninth Ward Food Access Coalition is hosting a Grocery Store For-A-Day! event to help alleviate the problem. 

Gary Cha and his family came to the U.S. from South Korea in the 1970s. They opened Yes! Organic Markets in food deserts and other unlikely neighborhoods around Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Cha speaks with host Michel Martin about his heritage, his business and racial tension between some Asian store-owners and African-American residents.

New Orleans became a blank slate after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. And ever since, entrepreneurs have rushed in to experiment with new ideas for building and running a city.

Among them is a startup called, a social media tool for sharing ideas to make your neighborhood better. After signing in to Neighborland, you can find your neighborhood and post your idea. The posts all start with "I want," and you fill in the rest.