Who Faces Limited Food Access? →
Accessing healthy food is a challenge for many Americans—particularly those living in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, and rural areas.
- Low-income zip codes have 25 percent fewer supermarkets and 1.3 times as many convenience stores as middle-income zip codes. Predominantly black zip codes have about half as many supermarkets as predominantly white zip codes, and predominantly Latino areas have only a third as many.
- Low-income neighborhoods have half as many supermarkets as the wealthiest neighborhoods, according to an assessment of 685 urban and rural census tracts in three states. The same study found four times as many supermarkets in predominantly white neighborhoods as predominantly black ones.
- Nearly one-third of the U.S. population is transportation disadvantaged, meaning they cannot easily access a grocery store, work, or other basic personal and family needs. This is particularly a challenge for people of color and low-income individuals.
Improving Food Access, Creating Economic Opportunities, and Improving Health
To address these issues, healthy food advocates have worked to improve access in both rural and urban communities. Increasing access creates good neighborhood jobs and can be a powerful force of revitalization for disinvested communities. Over the past 20 years—with more than 300 studies completed—it has become clear that people who live in neighborhoods with better access to healthy food also tend to have better nutrition and better health. To learn more, check out the following reports:
- Economic and Community Development Outcomes of Healthy Food Retail details the connections between healthy food retail and economic and community development outcomes.
- Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why it Matters compiles and reviews the latest research on the health, economic, and community impacts of healthy food retail.