Food security is the ability for all people
to have all the food they need to live a healthy and active life.
Food access is the way in which such food is acquired. Food
access can be evaluated geographically and economically for
people living in urban areas. In Akron, Ohio, grocery stores were
surveyed to look for available food items and prices in order to
show if certain areas of the city were "underserved"
and thus food insecure. Service areas, correlation to demographic
items of Census tracts (race, income, public assistance, vehicle
availability, and education) to food access, and maps of the
store characteristics have been generated. The grocery stores in
Akron contain on average fewer than half of foods suggested by
the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and, although they have a
high percentage that accepts food stamps, only three accept WIC
coupons. Food prices were lower and availability was better for
service areas with less income, transportation, and education,
while food stamps were less likely to be accepted at these same
stores. Using the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
definition of food security and all its components as a
reference, Akron grocery stores provide an incomplete, and thus
food insecure, situation for those living in the inner city.
Keywords: food security, grocery stores, access, Akron