Characterizing Rural Food Access in Remote Areas

Chris J. Bardenhagen, Courtney Pinard, Rich Pirog, Amy Lazarus Yaroch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Residents of rural areas may have limited access to healthy foods, leading to higher incidence of diet related health issues. Smaller grocers in rural areas experience challenges in maintaining fresh produce and other healthy foods available for customers. This study assessed the rural food environment in northeast Lower Michigan in order to inform healthy food financing projects such as the Michigan Good Food Fund. The area’s retail food businesses were categorized using secondary licensing, business, and nutrition program databases. Twenty of these stores were visited in person to verify the validity of the categories created, and to assess the availability of healthy foods in their aisles. In-depth interviews with key informants were carried out with store owners, economic development personnel, and other food system stakeholders having knowledge about food access, in order to learn more about the specific challenges that the area faces. Out-shopping, seasonality, and economic challenges were found to affect healthy food availability. Mid-sized independent stores were generally found to have a larger selection of healthy foods, but smaller rural groceries also have potential to provide fresh produce and increase food access. Potential healthy food financing projects are described and areas in need of further research are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1008-1019
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

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food
Food
rural area
Food Preferences
Economic Development
Licensure
nutrition
economics
personnel
Economics
incidence
customer
Databases
Interviews
Diet
stakeholder
resident
Incidence
Health
human being

Keywords

  • Food environment
  • Healthy food availability
  • Outshopping
  • Rural food access
  • Rural grocery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Characterizing Rural Food Access in Remote Areas. / Bardenhagen, Chris J.; Pinard, Courtney; Pirog, Rich; Yaroch, Amy Lazarus.

In: Journal of Community Health, Vol. 42, No. 5, 01.10.2017, p. 1008-1019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bardenhagen, Chris J. ; Pinard, Courtney ; Pirog, Rich ; Yaroch, Amy Lazarus. / Characterizing Rural Food Access in Remote Areas. In: Journal of Community Health. 2017 ; Vol. 42, No. 5. pp. 1008-1019.
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