Examining local food environment for SNAP-Ed participants in Fulton and Clarke Counties, Georgia
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In 2014, nearly 2 million Georgia residents, including about 500,000 children, lived in food deserts. And nearly 19% of Georgians suffered from food insecurity (Feeding America, 2014). The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federally-funded program that provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for the cost of food. SNAP is offering education program (SNAP-Ed) to help people make better dietary decisions with limited benefits. This study analyzes food environments in the study area by accessing the association between neighborhood deprivation and access to food stores for SNAP-Ed households in 2007 and 2014. The food accessibility was measured by two methods: proximity and density, both of which have experienced change over time. These data suggest that food environment changed over short periods of time. Findings show that high level of neighborhood deprivation was found to be associated with better accessibility to supermarkets and warehouses. In contrast, the change of neighborhood deprivation index was a more influential determinant in accessibility to discount store, convenience store, specialty store and meat stores.