Food in Reach: Measuring Access to Public Assistance Food Retailers in Rural Arizona
AuthorTanoue, Kara Lyn Haberstock
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 18-Jan-2020
AbstractThe current public food assistance system in the United States depends primarily on delivery through vouchers provided to families who cannot afford adequate food due to economic hardship that they can use in retail markets to purchase food. However, how to conceptualize, define, measure, and determine the importance of access to food retail for the nearly 50 million food insecure people in the U.S. remains a challenge. These three papers provide three different methods for measuring food access in the rural context with diverging purposes and applications, moving from simple conceptions of access to more complex approaches that combine quantitative and qualitative measures. I seek to answer the question: How can critical GIS be used to better understand the relationship between access to food retailers, public nutrition assistance programs, and food shopping patterns in rural Arizona? This question is further refined by three sub-questions: How can GIS be used to develop a better measure of physical access to food retail for nutrition assistance recipients in rural areas? What are the barriers to food access for recipients beyond physical access, and how can these be incorporated into measures of accessibility? How does accessibility of food retail affect recipients’ food shopping habits? Through using a grounded mixed-methods approach, I hope to integrate quantitative measures of access with qualitative insight into individual intentions and lived experience in using public assistance benefits to shop for food. Taken together, these papers provide a broad view on how to better quantify and measure food access in the rural setting, as well as avenues for further development of access measures and interventions to ensure equity in food access for all.
Degree ProgramGraduate College