Social Disparities and Socio-Economic Conditions: A Food Desert Analysis of the Greater Des Moines Area

Authors: David Jensen*, University of Northern Iowa
Topics: Urban Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Food Deserts, Geography, GIS, Des Moines, Transportation, Food, Store
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Bacchus, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Recent research suggests that socioeconomic makeup of geographic areas within a city has implications on location and accessibility of food retail stores. Disadvantaged areas with relatively poor access to healthy and affordable food are what the literature has identified as “food deserts”. The purpose of this research is to explore the relationship between geographic areas with relatively low socioeconomic characteristics and food stores within the greater Des Moines, Iowa area. By way of survey, grocery and convenience stores are measured on their healthy food content, price, and other factors. GIS techniques are then used to measure accessibility to stores by low cost means of transportation (walking and the public bus system). The results intend to show where food deserts are located within the metro area and show relationships between store locations and disadvantaged geographic areas.

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