Presenter Information

Jennifer Sher, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) characterizes food deserts as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods (USDA, 2013). To calculate a food desert, two variables are used: low-income communities determined by income or poverty rate and low access communities where at least 33 percent of the population in the tract live 1 or 10 miles from the grocery, depending if the population is urban or rural. Grocery stores in this instance are defined as a supermarket or a large grocery store, excluding many other purchasing options for fresh and healthy foods such as small grocery stores, convenience stores and farmers markets. This study will examine areas that are defined as food deserts by the USDA Food Research Atlas in Maine at the census tract level for the United States, which defines varying low access groups at a variety of distances from food sources. After identifying food deserts, the Consumer Expenditure Index (CEX) will be used to determine if the percentage of income spent on fresh fruits and fresh vegetables in Maine is lower in food deserts than the percentage of income spent on fresh fruits and fresh vegetables in non-food deserts. This will then see if the other food stores options that are usually not accounted for when calculating food deserts have an effect on purchasing habits.

Faculty Sponsor

Manny Gimond

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

266

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May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

Food Deserts and Food Expenditure Relationships in Maine

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) characterizes food deserts as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods (USDA, 2013). To calculate a food desert, two variables are used: low-income communities determined by income or poverty rate and low access communities where at least 33 percent of the population in the tract live 1 or 10 miles from the grocery, depending if the population is urban or rural. Grocery stores in this instance are defined as a supermarket or a large grocery store, excluding many other purchasing options for fresh and healthy foods such as small grocery stores, convenience stores and farmers markets. This study will examine areas that are defined as food deserts by the USDA Food Research Atlas in Maine at the census tract level for the United States, which defines varying low access groups at a variety of distances from food sources. After identifying food deserts, the Consumer Expenditure Index (CEX) will be used to determine if the percentage of income spent on fresh fruits and fresh vegetables in Maine is lower in food deserts than the percentage of income spent on fresh fruits and fresh vegetables in non-food deserts. This will then see if the other food stores options that are usually not accounted for when calculating food deserts have an effect on purchasing habits.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/184