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