Skip to main content
News

Interview with Dr. Kenneth Kolb, sociology professor and author of ‘Retail Inequality’

logo for Hunter College Food Policy Center
Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center
The cover of Kenneth H. Cole's book "Retail Inequality"
Kolb’s book was released in December 2021.

Ken Kolb, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Furman University, goes on record about the country’s “exclusionary” food economy in an interview hosted by the Food Policy Center at Hunter College in New York City.

Drawing from his recently published book, “Retail Inequality: Reframing the Food Desert Debate,” Kolb commented on the No. 1 thing governments get wrong about inequality and food.

“Grocery stores are a necessary public good, even in places where they can’t turn a profit,” he said. “We don’t ask public libraries to generate a yield on investment, nor do we expect parks to pay quarterly dividends. The injustices of the past—primarily racist urban planning decisions of the post WWII era—have made quality food retail economically untenable in poor areas across the country. Today, these neighborhoods are left to live with the consequences of past mistakes not of their own making.

“Waiting for the population density and collective wealth to rise enough for a grocery store to return to their side of town is backwards thinking. Subsidize and incentivize grocery stores first and watch the population and economic base rebuild as a result. Leaving it to ‘the market’ to fix the problem will only prolong the suffering,” he added.

View the entire interview at the Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Last updated .

Roe v Wade ruling by Supreme Court affects more than abortion rights

Furman faculty weigh in with expert perspective on health care, history, social justice, education and other aspects of the June 24 decision.

It’s a wrap: Strategic design master’s students shine in package refresh competition

Four Master of Arts in Strategic Design candidates reimagine a legacy package for The Coca-Cola Company.

Elizabeth Allen ’20 M’22 poses with her Guinness World Record-winning chain made of 10,000 Starburst wrappers.

Alum wraps up record-setting feat – link by link

Elizabeth Allen ’20 M’22 reached her goal one Starburst at a time

Graduate student Allyn Wiggins M’22 (left) works with Augi during the Literacy Corner program.

In Literacy Corner, ‘the curriculum is the children’

Literacy Corner links grad students with community kids for a monthlong exploration of the wonder of words