Transportation issues lead to “grocery gap” in Springfield, Chicopee

Many low income residents have trouble reaching stores

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts’ two largest cities are caught in what is being called the “grocery gap.” The gap does not necessarily mean that Springfield and Chicopee do not have enough grocery stores, but it means that some residents do not have good access to them.

It is a problem that affects both “gateway cities” and rural areas, and it impacts low income people the most. Many low income individuals rely on public transportation to get around.

The PVTA is considering eliminating about half of their bus stops in Springfield, and they only allow three grocery bags when you board.

Springfield and Chicopee trapped in “grocery gap”

People told 22News that it is a struggle to get access to fresh and healthy foods. Alexander Delivorias of Springfield said that he sometimes has to go to a convenience store.

“I have one right up the street from our house. If we need milk, I go up there and get some milk, but it costs you an arm and a leg. The hardest part is the transportation to get there,” Delivorias said.

Chelsea, Springfield, and Taunton topped the list for cities with the highest percentage of low-income residents lacking access to grocery stores. The “grocery gap” affects about 2.8 million people in Massachusetts, including children and seniors.

Map: Courtesy/MPHA]