Section Header Background: Desert Companion Nov 2022
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Welcome to the new!

If you have questions, feedback, or encounter issues as you explore, please fill out our Feedback Form.

Twinkies and beef jerky for dinner again?

This issue is about DEALicious Meals — the mega-caloric, hyperglycemic fun starts on page 26! — but you know the old saw about too much of a good thing. Here’s the problem: Tens of thousands of Las Vegans live in “food deserts.” Oh, there’s food, all right — if you consider candy bars and microwave burritos food. A food desert is a low-income area with little access to fresh, nutritious eats. In poorer areas in Clark County, many residents — often without cars or other transportation — live more than a mile away from a grocery store that sells stuff that doesn’t come in a processed patty, paper bag or microwaveable box.

That’s according to the recently launched Food Desert Locator website (, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. A quick calculation of the census tracts deemed “food deserts” in Clark County suggests that more than 51,000 residents do much of their grocery shopping at places like 7-Eleven. And last time we checked, there weren’t any broccoli Slurpees.

A perusal of the site reveals the following:

Sponsor Message

• Much of North Las Vegas has limited access to grocery stores, including areas bounded by Rancho Drive, Cheyenne Avenue, I-15 and Washington Avenue.

• East Las Vegas, especially the area around Tropicana Avenue and Boulder Highway, is designated as having low access to grocery stores.

• Hey, tourists gotta eat, too: Much of the Strip is labeled as having little access to nutritious food. Looks like tourist who’s craving something besides restaurant or buffet fare better be prepared to catch a cab — or build up that appetite by walking.

As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.