Deserts. While there's no tumbleweeds rolling through this lot, the letters stripped off this building show that there is something missing.

"I was devastated, it was one more business gone out of an urban neighborhood," said Mia Costello, who lives directly across the street from the old Shop 'N Save in Spanish Lake.

In November, her go-to store along with two other nearby locations closed, leaving Maya and thousands of others in what the USDA calls a food desert.

"It makes me want to move out of the area because I want to be equally where there's a Dierbergs, there's no Dierbergs around here, there is only one Schnucks around here," said Mia.

One of the biggest problems of living in an area designated as a food desert is transportation, getting from your home to the grocery store and then carrying heavy grocery bags all the way back home. And if you have to get on a bus that can make traveling even more tiresome. 

"It's just going to be more inconvenient," said Melissa Vatterott the Food and Farm director, Missouri Coalition for the Environment

Vatterott prefers to call these areas low-income low access communities.

That's when a large number of people not only live a half mile from a supermarket but they are also low income.

"In our region, we see that people of color are more impacted by all of those things, than white people so food access really is a racial equity issue," Vatterott said.

Vatterott presented these statistics to 5 On Your Side. 

"Black residents make up 23 percent of the total St. Louis County population. 63 percent of those black residents in St. Louis County live in LILA."

Vatterott says the chances of another grocery store coming back and taking the place of the old Shop 'N Save are slim.

But hopes are still high.

"I would like to see another grocery store, if not Shop 'N Save then something along the price of Shop 'N Save," said Mia.

There are community members working to find a solution in North County.

One of them 5 On Your Side has featured before, the St. Louis Metro Market. Their Executive Director says they currently do not serve the Spanish Lake area but are looking into it.

The St. Louis Metro Market food bus is a brightly colored vehicle turned into a mobile grocery store full of produce from area farms.  

Their bus operates from May- November but is only in each neighborhood one day a week.