Little Haiti and Overtown troubled by food deserts (includes video story)

Redlining and gentrification challenge the daily life of Miami residents, and they have only intensified over time. Residents of neighborhoods like Little Haiti and Overtown encounter the pressing issue of inadequate access to essential retail outlets, particularly grocery stores, resulting in limited availability of fresh produce and other necessities. This makes them dependent on stores like Dollar Tree or Kwik Stop, which predominantly offer processed and non-perishable goods.

The disparity between these underserved neighborhoods and their wealthier counterparts, like Coral Gables or Brickell, where major retailers like Whole Foods and Publix are plentiful, highlights the frustration residents experience. Many people are obligated to travel to other areas to buy fresh and reasonably priced groceries.

The reluctance of grocery chains to establish a presence in these neighborhoods stems from concerns about profitability. Dr. Howard Frank, a professor of public policy and administration at Florida International Univeristy, said there’s an option that can help this problem.

“There are some who would argue that they can get the Dollar Trees of the world to amp up their healthy food selections,” Frank said.

Elizabeth Salazar is a senior FIU student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Communication and Multimedia. She is a South Florida-based freelance fashion photographer with 5+ years of experience. She enjoys video editing as well as being part of film productions. She hopes to one day be able to work alongside a team to create meaningful visual stories.

Gabriela Jelisse Fuentes Villafañe was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She moved to the United States when she was 12 years old. She is currently majoring in Broadcast Journalism, concentrating in Spanish. She hopes to be part of big Latino TV channels like Univision or Telemundo.

Dylan Harris is a junior FIU student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Digital Communications/Broadcasting. He was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida. His passion for broadcasting and digital communications started very young because of his passion for media worldwide. He enjoys making sports podcasts about recent sports news. Dylan looks forward to achieving his goal of being able to work for 7 News in the Broadcasting section.