National and regional grocers have banded together with First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to bring fresh foods to impoverished neighborhoods by opening and expanding more than 1,500 U.S. grocery stores in those areas. National retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Supervalu Inc. and Walgreen Co., have agreed to open new stores or expand in areas the USDA calls "food deserts." In California, a $200-million California FreshWorks Fund will provide financing at or below market rates to encourage grocers to set up shop in under-served communities.
Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times
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