Maximize Impact, Minimize Resources: Locating Food Deserts and Increasing SNAP Spending on Fruits and Vegetables
Keywords:Food Insecurity, Food Systems, Food Deserts, Needs Assessments
Many community organizations addressing aspects of food insecurity have not traditionally participated in food systems development and are often not familiar with the populations most affected by food insecurity. Needs assessments are commonly used to better understand community issues and target populations, but can they be lengthy processes that often require significant resources to facilitate. We present a case study of Duval County, Florida, in which we develop an assessment procedure for identifying food-insecure communities and determining the specific locations in which food-security programming has the greatest potential to increase local fruit and vegetable purchasing by SNAP households. This assessment draws on existing databases, thus reducing the resources required to conduct the analysis and allowing organizations to implement programming in a timely manner in areas where there is potential to see the greatest gains in reducing food insecurity.
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