Closing the Food Access Gap in American Underserved Communities
Author(s)Taylor, Jamal; Baretto, Luiz Paulo Silva
Malnutrition is a global issue that affects millions of people across the world. Malnutrition is not just the lack of food, but also consists of the overabundance of unhealthy food due to a lack of healthy food. This instance of malnutrition is particularly troublesome for cities in the United States. In the U.S., there are many people who simply do not have access to healthy food options. Many of these individuals live in “food-deserts” or areas where no grocery stores that sell fresh produce exist within a 1-mile radius. In low-income areas where many people do not have access to a car, residents of food-deserts may have no way of accessing healthy food options. One way to combat the problem of food-deserts is to supply these areas with healthy food options. This research is centered on answering two research questions: 1) What food supply chain model (grocery delivery, ride share, veggie-box) would residents of low-income areas prefer? 2) What is the feasibility of implementing this food supply chain model to increase healthy foods in low income areas? This research was conducted by surveying residents of Somerville, MA, and also interviewing stakeholders within the potential supply chain for sourcing food-desert neighborhoods with fresh produce. These data were analyzed using a series of logistic models regressions, which resulted in 82.7%, 75.2%, and 89.5% prediction power for the ride share, grocery delivery, and veggie box supply chain models, respectively. The research shows that residents preferred the veggie-box model and that this model was also feasible in supplying neighborhood markets within food-deserts with fresh produce.
Retail Operations, Healthcare, Supply Chain Strategy, Sustainability