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Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020046

Barriers to Food Security and Community Stress in an Urban Food Desert

1
Department of Sociology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
2
School of Human Services, University of North Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX 76203, USA
3
Consultant, 1846 Green Tree Ln, Duncanville, TX 75137, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Food Security)
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Abstract

By analyzing data from focus groups in a poor, mostly African American neighborhood in a large U.S. city, we describe how residents in urban food deserts access food, the barriers they experience in accessing nutritious, affordable food, and how community food insecurity exacerbates prior social, built, and economic stressors. Provided the unwillingness of supermarkets and supercenters to locate to poor urban areas and the need for nutritious, affordable food, it may be more efficient and equitable for government programs to financially partner with ethnic markets and smaller locally-owned grocery stores to increase the distribution and marketing of healthy foods rather than to spend resources trying to entice a large supermarket to locate to the neighborhood. By focusing on improving the conditions of the neighborhood and making smaller grocery stores and markets more affordable and produce more attractive to residents, the social, built, and economic stressors experienced by residents will be reduced, thereby possibly improving overall mental and physical health. View Full-Text
Keywords: food security; food desert; racial segregation food security; food desert; racial segregation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Crowe, J.; Lacy, C.; Columbus, Y. Barriers to Food Security and Community Stress in an Urban Food Desert. Urban Sci. 2018, 2, 46.

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