Being able to obtain fresh, nutritious food on a regular basis is crucial for people of all ages and stages of life, yet not all citizens have access to the food they need to thrive. So-called “food deserts,” which are almost exclusive to minority and low-income neighborhoods, lack grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and other sources of fresh, healthful foods -- while fast food options and convenience stores often abound.
Similar to urban areas throughout the United States, food deserts are prevalent in black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Dallas. More than 100,000 of the 600,000 residents living in Southern Dallas do not have access to healthy food within USDA standards. As a result, deaths from diet-related diseases like hypertension and cardiovascular disease occur at a higher rate across this sector.
With the support of the Communities Foundation of Texas and the State Fair of Texas Foundation, bcANALYTICS recently completed an assessment of the landscape for healthy food access in Southern Dallas.
About the Project
In order to promote increasing access to healthy food, our analytics team identified existing resources in five key areas: Supply, Distribution, Consumption, Advocacy, and Impact.
Two sources of information informed the assessment: expert knowledge and background research. At the start of the research period, a questionnaire was distributed to food system stakeholders, who collectively identified 20 organizations and 11 community leaders in the healthy food ecosystem. In addition, [bc] conducted background research into Southern Dallas food assets using a variety of databases, identifying a potential 1,100 additional assets. Both sources of information were compiled, cleaned, and published. This interactive web map allows users to identify individual food assets, and compare them to demographic background data, such as median income or measures of food access.
Finally, we produced a mapbook to spark conversation about how data and community knowledge could be combined to increase access to healthy food in Southern Dallas.
Help Shape the Healthy Food Access Asset Map
The webmap will continue to be updated and refined over time -- if you would like to contribute your knowledge of sites of supply, distribution, consumption, advocacy, or impact regarding food access in Southern Dallas, please do so by taking the 20-minute survey! Input from community members like you is fundamental to creating a robust and useful map.