Food access and food deserts: the diverse methods that residents of a neighborhood in Duluth, Minnesota use to provision themselves

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Abstract

Using data from a survey of residents living in a United States Department of Agriculture defined food desert in Duluth, Minnesota, this article examines the diverse ways that people living in a neighborhood without a grocery store feed themselves. We found that there is no singular experience of living in a food desert. Many neighborhood residents were highly mobile and shopped at a wide variety of local grocery stores, and a small group of neighborhood residents without cars relied on public transit, neighborhood convenience stores, and borrowing vehicles in order to provision themselves. These coping strategies were expensive and time-consuming, especially for the most vulnerable members of the community such as single parents and those without cars. We use the variety of experiences of people living in a food desert to propose interventions that would help improve food access in the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-336
Number of pages20
JournalCommunity Development
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

Keywords

  • food access
  • food desert
  • neighborhood
  • urban development

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