Food Insecurity, Neighborhood Food Access, and Food Assistance in Philadelphia

In the Journal of Urban Health, a group of LDI Senior Fellows and Fellows study the relationship between food insecurity, neighborhood food access, and receipt of food assistance. They analyze 2008, 2010, and 2012 household health survey data from Southeastern Pennsylvania. They were particularly interested in respondents’ answers to questions about the difficulty of finding fruit and vegetables in their neighborhood, the overall quality of neighborhood grocery stores, and whether or not they were receiving food assistance. The researchers find an association between better neighborhood food access and lower risk of food insecurity. Additionally, people receiving food assistance are significantly more likely to be food insecure, meaning they are unable to obtain enough food for an active and healthy life. However, more than half of the respondents who reported food insecurity were not receiving any food assistance. Most food insecure individuals report good access to food but that it is too expensive. Thus, improving the diet of people who are food insecure must take into account both improving access and affordability.

See the LDI blog post on this study here