The US Department of Agriculture defines food deserts as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options. The lack of access contributes to a poor diet and can lead to higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. For further information, see the USDA summary .
People who live in a household affected by food insecurity do not always know where they will find their next meal. By contrast, food security for a household means access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.