A GIS Analysis of Food Availability and Accessibility in the Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA

The Old Fourth Ward community is a primarily African American, low-income community in the metro-Atlanta area that contains a USDA-certified food desert. The non-profit organization Truly Living Well, has set up an urban garden and farmers’ markets aimed at serving this community. Additionally, Wholesome Wave has implemented a 50% discount at farmers’ markets to WIC and SNAP recipients. It has been found that neither of these programs have been consistently utilized by the community residents. In the Spring of 2013, GPS and observational data for food locations was collected to assess food availability and accessibility in the Old Fourth Ward. It was found that in total, there were 95 locations that sold food in the community. 25 of those were stores where groceries could be purchased, of which only 10 sold fresh fruits and vegetables. Of the stores that sold fresh fruits and vegetables, 4 stores sold 1-5 different varieties of fruits and vegetables, one store sold 5-10 different varieties, and five stores sold more than 10 different varieties. The results show that while there are a significant number of food options in the community, there are limited fresh fruit and vegetable options, and especially a limited number of options that are economically viable for community residents. Based on the geographic analysis, we have found that Truly Living Well is a viable food option for community residents based on its location relative to other food options and its more viable prices when the WIC/SNAP discount is applied.

Date Published: 2013

Author Affiliation: Emory University- Laney Graduate School, Truly Living Well Center

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