Miami-Dade County: Local Food, Global Place

Authors: Monica Alarcon*, Florida International University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Planning Geography
Keywords: Local Food Systems, Food Security, SNAP, GIS, South Florida
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Madison A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Miami-Dade County’s integral location lends itself to making south Florida a key player in global, national and local food systems. The overall project takes an interdisciplinary approach to compile an elementary assessment of the local food system in South Florida, specifically Miami-Dade County. Here, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) subscriptions in Miami-Dade County census tracts are analyzed in relation to local Farmers’ Markets, particularly those accepting SNAP forms of payment. Despite growing interest by consumers to shop at farmers’ markets, limited market access (in various forms) leads to an increase in food security disparity among low-income Americans. A lack of access to venues with fresh produce, transportation and payment options for food assistance programs limit the opportunities for low-income families to obtain local, nutrition foodstuffs. A first step could be to standardize payment systems that accept SNAP benefits at local farmers’ markets, allowing for an increase of SNAP redemptions to go towards fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as providing a secure source of profits for small to medium-sized, local farmers or resellers.

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