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Rural Hunger and Access to Healthy Food Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Rural Hunger and Access to Healthy Food.

Prevalence of Food Insecurity Varied by Household Characteristics in 2017
Bar chart showing low food security and very low food security by household characteristics, including location in a principal city, suburban, or rural area.
Date: 10/2018
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Digging In: Supporting a Healthy, Sustainable Food Future in Omaha Nation
Highlights a report on the Omaha Nation Food System Initiative to provide access to a sustainable source of healthy food for the Native people living on Omaha Reservation. Details the effects of the initiative on health and wellness of the people in the community.
Date: 09/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Rural Affairs
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National Food Affordability: A County-Level Analysis
Explores sociodemographic factors contributing to food affordability, with emphasis on differences between rural and urban areas. Features statistics on select food-related characteristics of U.S. counties, with breakdowns by rural or urban location and by Appalachian or Delta counties and other counties.
Author(s): Anne Cafer, Georgianna Mann, Sujith Ramachandran, Michelle Kaiser
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 15
Date: 09/2018
Type: Document
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America’s Eating Habits: Food Away From Home
Examines how eating out and the availability of food options affects U.S. diets. Addresses rural/urban differences, socioeconomic factors, and relevant federal programs. Covers school lunch programs, quick-service restaurants, and full-service restaurants, including maps showing restaurant availability and growth by county.
Author(s): Michelle J. Saksena, Abigail M. Okrent, Tobenna D. Anekwe, et al.
Date: 09/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Household Food Security in the United States in 2017
Reports on household food security, food expenditures, and the use of federal food and nutrition assistance programs in 2017. Includes food insecurity statistics for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.
Additional links: Report Summary, Statistical Supplement
Author(s): Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, Anita Singh
Date: 09/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Characteristics of the Food Insecure in the U.S.
Collection of charts showing data on food insecurity in the prerecession period of 2001-2007, the 2008-2009 recession, and the 2010-2017 post-recession period. Includes data for metropolitan and nonmetro areas.
Date: 09/2018
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Characteristics of U.S. Households with Food-insecure Children
Collection of bar charts showing trends in food insecurity in children, including data for metropolitan and nonmetro areas, with data from 2008 through 2017.
Date: 09/2018
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Prevalence of Very Low Food Security, 2017
Bar chart showing very low food security by type of household. Includes data by place of residence for metropolitan and nonmetro areas. Based on December 2016 Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement data.
Date: 09/2018
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Prevalence of Food Insecurity, 2017
Bar chart showing food insecurity by type of household. Includes data by place of residence for metropolitan and nonmetro areas. Based on December 2016 Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement data.
Date: 09/2018
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Voices for Food: Methodologies for Implementing a Multi-state Community-based Intervention in Rural, High Poverty Communities
Highlights a study on an intervention to address barriers to food access in economically impoverished rural communities. Focuses on 24 counties in 6 Midwestern states and details the various assessment tools used to evaluate the needs of the community and the success of the intervention.
Author(s): Suzanne Stluka, Lindsay Moore, Heather A. Eicher-Miller, et al.
Citation: BMC Public Health, 18
Date: 08/2018
Type: Document
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Non-maternal and Non-neonatal Inpatient Stays in the United States Involving Malnutrition, 2016
Reports national estimates of malnutrition during non-maternal and non-neonatal hospital inpatient stays in 2016, with information for six different categories of malnutrition. Includes data by location of patient residence for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.
Author(s): M.L. Barrett, M.K. Bailey, P.L. Owens
Date: 08/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
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Characteristics of School Districts Offering Free School Meals to All Students Through the Community Eligibility Provision of the National School Lunch Program
Examines characteristics of school districts that elected to implement the Community Eligibility Provision during the 2015-2016 school year. Features statistics with breakdowns by rural, urban, suburban, or town locations.
Author(s): Stephanie Rogus, Joanne Guthrie, Katherine Ralston
Date: 08/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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School Meals Programs and Other USDA Child Nutrition Programs: A Primer
Describes how federal child nutrition programs operate under current law, including eligibility rules, participation, and funding. Features statistics including reimbursement rates with breakdowns by rural or urban locations.
Date: 08/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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Price Variability Across Food Product and Vendor Type in Food Benefit Redemptions Under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Examines variability in prices for WIC purchases in 4 WIC State agencies, using data on 2014 Electronic Benefit Transfer transactions. Features statistics including geographic distribution of WIC vendors by State agency, with breakdowns by urban, large rural, small rural, and isolated locations.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Patrick W. McLaughlin, Stacy Gleason, Margaret Wilkin
Date: 07/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Both Rural and Urban SNAP Recipients Affected by Proposed Work Requirements
Presents work status data for rural and urban Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Identifies those exempt from work requirements under current law who may face a new work requirement under proposed legislation, breaking out the current work hours of this group. Briefly discusses the scarcity and expense of child care.
Author(s): Jessica A. Carson
Date: 07/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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Summer Meals: Improvements Needed to Address Participation Estimates and Program Challenges
Testimony before the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, U.S. House of Representatives, summarizing the May 2018 Government Accountability Office report on summer meals. Addresses what is known about Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) participation, other summer programs that feed low-income children, challenges in providing rural children with summer meals, and the extent to which the USDA provides assistance.
Additional links: Full Report
Author(s): Kathryn A. Larin
Date: 07/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Daily Dietary Intake Patterns Improve after Visiting a Food Pantry among Food-Insecure Rural Midwestern Adults
Evaluates dietary patterns for rural adults in the Midwest before and after visiting a food pantry. Compares differences for food secure and food insecure clients. Addresses fruit and vegetable intake, number of meals and snacks eaten, and more.
Author(s): Breanne N. Wright, Regan L. Bailey, Bruce A. Craig, et al.
Citation: Nutrients, 10(5), 583
Date: 05/2018
Type: Document
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Summer Meals: Actions Needed to Improve Participation Estimates and Address Program Challenges
Examines what is known about Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) participation, other summer programs that feed low-income children, challenges in providing rural children with summer meals, and the extent to which the USDA provides assistance. Includes maps of area eligibility and meal sites in selected states.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 05/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Map the Meal Gap 2018: A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2016
Reports on county-level food insecurity and food price variation in 2016. Includes rural and regional demographics of food insecurity and child food insecurity rates by state.
Date: 05/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Feeding America
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The State of Senior Hunger in America 2016
Documents the rate of food insecurity among U.S. residents age 60 and over. Features demographics and characteristics of the senior population lacking access to sufficient food and shows state-level variation in food insecurity. Includes statistics with breakdowns by metro and nonmetro locations.
Additional links: Infographic
Author(s): James P. Ziliak, Craig Gundersen
Date: 05/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Feeding America, National Foundation to End Senior Hunger
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Rural Hunger in America: Summer Meals
Describes how Summer Nutrition Programs reduce food insecurity for low-income children in rural areas and offers strategies that can help rural communities overcome barriers to participation in these programs.
Date: 04/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Food Research & Action Center
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Rural Hunger in America: Afterschool Meals
Fact sheet describing the benefits of Afterschool Nutrition Programs, and offering suggestions for strategies to help rural communities overcome barriers to participating in these programs.
Date: 04/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Food Research & Action Center
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The Association Between Nutrition Information Use and the Healthfulness of Food Acquisitions
Results of a study examining the effectiveness of federal nutrition information and education efforts, using data from the USDA's 2012-13 National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS). Features demographic statistics including percentage of FoodAPS respondents in rural areas, and the percentage of these rural respondents who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Author(s): Eliana Zeballos, Tobenna D. Anekwe
Date: 04/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Rural Hunger in America: School Breakfast
Describes benefits of the School Breakfast Program for low-income students in rural communities and lists strategies to increase participation.
Date: 03/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Food Research & Action Center
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Availability and Cost of Healthy Foods in a Large American Indian Community in the North-Central United States
Results of a study conducted in January and February of 2016, assessing availability and price of 68 food items at stores within a 90-mile radius of a large rural reservation. Includes statistics with breakdowns by availability and price of food, by store type.
Author(s): Amanda M. Fretts, Corrine Huber, Lyle G. Best, Marcia O'Leary, Laurel LeBeau, et al.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 15
Date: 01/2018
Type: Document
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Rural Hunger in America: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Describes ways in which the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits rural Americans and offers suggestions to help rural communities overcome barriers to implementing SNAP. Includes a county-level map showing levels of SNAP participation in rural counties from 2012-2016.
Date: 2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Food Research & Action Center
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Rural Hunger in America: Get the Facts
Describes effects of food insecurity in rural areas and offers strategies to increase participation in federal nutrition programs. Includes statistics comparing levels of poverty and food insecurity in rural and metropolitan areas in 2016, and a state-level map with percentages of food insecure households.
Date: 2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Food Research & Action Center
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Rural Households Account for Nearly One-fifth of U.S. Food-insecure Households
Pie chart showing the proportion of food insecure households in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas in 2016.
Date: 12/2017
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2016
Presents an overview of the SNAP Program eligibility requirements and benefit levels. Provides detailed tables showing comparisons in rural-urban areas. Reports that 16.4% of SNAP households are in rural and micropolitan areas. Coverage includes October 2015 through September 2016.
Author(s): Sarah Lauffer
Date: 11/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Food and Nutrition Service
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Independent Grocery Stores in the Changing Landscape of the U.S. Food Retail Industry
Examines the performance of independent U.S. grocery stores in 2015, and reports on changes in the prevalence and performance of these stores between 2005 and 2015. Highlights the important role of rural independent grocery stores as employers, tax generators, and sources of healthy and specialty foods.
Author(s): Clare Cho, Richard Volpe
Date: 11/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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The Share of SNAP Households That Live Far from a Supermarket or Large Grocery Store Varies by County
Map showing 2015 county-level data on the percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households that lived far from the nearest supermarket or large grocery store, more than 1 mile in urban areas or more than 10 miles in rural areas.
Date: 11/2017
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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SNAP Declines Continue in 2016, but Not for Rural Places
Line chart showing the percent of households that report receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assistance from 2007 through 2016, comparing city, rural, and suburban trends.
Author(s): Jessica A. Carson
Date: 11/2017
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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The Influence of Food Store Access on Grocery Shopping and Food Spending
Reports on households that do not use their own vehicle to travel to a store and live more than half a mile from a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) authorized supermarket or superstore. Includes data on household sources of food, including stores, family and friends, the household's own production, food pantries, and other sources. Data is provided by distance, and the report notes that all households more than 10 miles from the nearest SNAP-authorized store and 55% of households 1-10 miles from a SNAP-authorized store are in rural areas.
Author(s): Michele Ver Ploeg, Elizabeth Larimore, Parke Wilde
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Rural Hunger Fact Sheet
Describes challenges facing rural communities compared with urban areas and gives statistics on rural food insecurity and rural poverty rates.
Date: 09/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Feeding America
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Promoting a Nutritious Diet Inside and Outside the Hospital
Highlights a rural Vermont hospital's efforts to promote healthier eating habits both inside and outside the hospital by locally sourcing food, encouraging participation in their "Ton of Tomatoes" project, and processing produce to help food-insecure community members. Discusses efforts of other hospitals promoting healthy diets, including removing unhealthy cafeteria meal options and promoting community gardens.
Date: 09/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Hospital Association
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The Differences in Characteristics Among Households With and Without Obese Children: Findings From USDA’s FoodAPS
Examines characteristics of households with at least one obese child and without any obese children. Table 2 compares rural and urban household financial well-being, as it relates to obesity. Table 3 examines the food environment for rural households with and without obese children.
Author(s): Young Jo
Date: 09/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Understanding the Prevalence, Severity, and Distribution of Food Insecurity in the United States
Reports on food insecurity in 2016, including data on nonmetropolitan households that have low food security and very low food security.
Author(s): Matthew P. Rabbitt, Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Christian A. Gregory
Citation: Amber Waves
Date: 09/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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The Food-Spending Patterns of Households Participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Findings From USDA’s FoodAPS
Reports on food spending in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households, eligible nonparticipant households, and other U.S. households. Includes data specific to households in rural areas.
Author(s): Laura Tiehen, Constance Newman, John A. Kirlin
Date: 08/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Low-Income Areas With Low Supermarket Access Increased in Urban Areas, But Not in Rural Areas, Between 2010 and 2015
Reports on changes in the number of low-income and low-access (LILA) census tracts between 2010 and 2015 for rural and urban areas. Briefly describes changes to the low-access or low-income aspect for rural census tracts that became LILA tracts in 2015.
Author(s): Alana Rhone
Citation: Amber Waves
Date: 04/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals: Key Drivers
Report on the progress of farm-to-school programs as a way to improve access to local foods for daily meals. Includes examples of successful programs, a discussion of the influence of school location, size, farmers markets, and state policies as impacts on that success, and variation by regional districts.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Katherine Ralston, Elizabeth Beaulieu, Jeffrey Hyman, et al.
Date: 03/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Who Experiences Very Low Food Security?
Bar chart showing characteristics of households experiencing very low food security, which may include cutting back on or skipping meals or going a whole day without eating. Includes data comparing city, suburban, and nonmetropolitan areas. Based on 2015 Current Population Survey data.
Date: 03/2017
Type: Chart/Graph
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Low-Income and Low-Supermarket-Access Census Tracts, 2010-2015
A brief that discusses regions of the country with low-income and limited access to supermarkets and how they demonstrate the connection between poverty and access to healthy food. Includes a comparison of urban and rural locations as connected to low-income and low-access tracts.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Alana Rhone, Michele Ver Ploeg, Chris Dicken, Ryan Williams, Vince Breneman
Date: 01/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Craving to Make a Difference in a Rural Community
Describes efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity in Ashe County, North Carolina through the Food Pantry Project, a food access screening program located within the local hospital.
Author(s): Melissa Lewis, Patty Parsons
Citation: North Carolina Medical Journal, 78(4), 259-260
Date: 2017
Type: Document
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HFFI Impacts: Nationwide Success of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives
Provides data and resources to show the impact and successes of healthy food financing initiatives (HFFIs), and framework to evaluate HFFIs. Includes case studies from programs in New York, California, and rural areas of Ohio, New York, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
Date: 2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: The Food Trust
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Community Benefit Programming to Improve Healthy Food Access and Reduce Risk of Diet-related Disease
Details the results of a survey on hospital community benefit programming to increase access to healthy food in an attempt to reduce diet-related health conditions. Discusses the Community Health Needs Assessments for the communities the surveyed hospitals were serving. Also, looks at the various implementation strategies used for each program.
Date: 2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Health Care Without Harm
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Saving the Last Grocery Store
Describes how a rural Colorado community re-opened its only grocery store as a co-op, after a severe blizzard that cut off the town for days made the need for a local store apparent to residents. Discusses the challenges facing rural grocery stores.
Author(s): Lorraine Armstrong
Citation: Rural Cooperatives, 84(3), 12-15
Date: 2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Rural Development
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Map the Meal Gap 2017: Highlights of Findings for Overall and Child Food Insecurity
Reports on county-level food insecurity and food cost in 2015. Includes data for metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural counties on food insecurity and child food insecurity.
Date: 2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Feeding America
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Community Adaptations to an Impending Food Desert in Rural Appalachia, USA
Reports on a study examining how Alderson, West Virginia, population 1184, addressed the forthcoming food desert when the only grocery store in town closed.
Author(s): Wayne Miller, Denver Rogalla, Dustin Spencer, et al.
Citation: Rural and Remote Health, 16(4), 3901
Date: 11/2016
Type: Document
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Rural Farmers Market Promotes Food Security
A discussion of food insecurity and access to healthy foods, with a focus on how regional farmers markets are helping to solve those challenges. Includes examples in Michigan as well as information about how farmers markets can partner with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Author(s): Allee Mead
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 09/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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The Reverend’s Revolution: A Kid-First Approach to Community Health
Features the work of Reverend Richard Joyner and the Conetoe Family Life Center, a North Carolina nonprofit focused on youth development and improving community health.
Author(s): Jenn Lukens
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 06/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Food Security Among Hispanic Adults in the United States, 2011-2014
Analyzes the magnitude of food insecurity across diverse Hispanic adults in the U.S. using 2011-2014 data derived from the Current Population Survey’s Food Security Supplement, an annual survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Provides demographic data regarding ethnicity, immigration status, income, employment, educational attainment, and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan residence status.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Matthew P. Rabbitt, Michael D. Smith, Alisha Coleman-Jensen
Date: 05/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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What Rural Women Want the Public Health Community to Know About Access to Healthful Food: A Qualitative Study, 2011
Results of a study in which 110 southern Illinois women identified physical, economic, and social barriers to acquiring healthy food. Features statistics including race, age group, and county of residence.
Author(s): Leslie R. Carnahan, Kristine Zimmermann, Nadine R. Peacock
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 13
Date: 04/2016
Type: Document
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The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices
Seven research modules guiding food system planning, economic assessment, and analysis of data. Explains that local food production promotes rural economic revitalization and supports built capital invested in rural communities, and notes the importance of recognizing differences in rural and urban food issues.
Author(s): Dawn Thilmany McFadden, David Conner, Steven Deller, et al.
Date: 03/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
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The Feasibility of a Regional Food Hub for Southwest New Mexico: Ideas for Rural and Frontier Communities
Determines the viability of developing a food hub for rural and frontier regions. Highlights interviews conducted with farmers to gauge their interest and capacity to support a food hub, and with food service directors to review the requirements of food vendors, and their participation and interest in purchasing local foods from a regional food hub.
Author(s): Benjamin Rasmussen, Susan Wilger
Date: 01/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Frontier Communities
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Fewer Than Half of WIC-Eligible Families Receive WIC Benefits
Examines the characteristics of families eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) who receive WIC benefits compared to those who do not. Includes information on rural versus urban families participating in WIC. Identifies nonparticipating WIC-eligible families that could be targeted for outreach.
Author(s): Kristin Smith
Date: 2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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Health Equity Series: Food Insecurity
A report compiled for the Missouri Foundation for Health's Policy Portfolio, focusing on disparities in food security in the state. Includes a brief history of the topic, a discussion of food access, and other socio-economic factors that can contribute to food insecurity. Sections 15 and 20 focus specifically on rural versus urban comparisons.
Author(s): Cindy Calender
Date: 12/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Missouri Foundation for Health
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Measuring the Food Access Gap in Native American Tribal Areas
Compares food access for the nation as a whole with access in tribal areas to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) authorized supermarkets and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) sites.
Author(s): Michelle Saksena
Citation: Amber Waves
Date: 12/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Schools Vary - And That Means Meal Costs Vary Too
Examines school meal costs and identifies factors that affect per-meal costs, including the school food authority's location, size, and balance between the number of lunches and breakfasts served. Includes data on school meal costs for rural, suburban, and urban schools.
Author(s): Joanne Guthrie, Michael Ollinger
Citation: Amber Waves
Date: 12/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Formative Evaluation to Increase Availability of Healthy Snacks and Beverages in Stores Near Schools in Two Rural Oregon Counties, 2013
Results of a study using interviews conducted at 15 food stores in 8 rural eastern Oregon communities, to determine owners' perspectives on customer demand for healthy snacks and beverages, space constraints, vendor influence, and perishability. Includes statistics on percentages of stores stocking single-portion and multiportion units of specific foods and beverages.
Author(s): Betty T. Izumi, Nancy E. Findholt, Hayley A. Pickus
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 12
Date: 12/2015
Type: Document
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Process Evaluation of Older Americans Act Title III-C Nutrition Services Program
Describes a program designed to provide daily meals and nutrition services to older people with economic or social needs, targeting low-income minorities and people in rural areas. Features statistics including organizational structure of Area Agencies on Aging and Local Service Providers, with breakdowns by urban, suburban, rural, and frontier locations.
Author(s): James Mabli, Nicholas Redel, Rhoda Cohen, et al.
Date: 09/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Administration for Community Living, Mathematica Policy Research
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Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs Evaluation: Meal Cost Analysis
Gives average costs of congregate and home-delivered meals provided by the Nutrition Services Programs and explores whether costs vary by how meals are prepared or by other program characteristics. Includes statistics with breakdowns by urban, suburban, or rural or frontier service areas.
Author(s): Jessica Ziegler, Nicholas Redel, Linda Rosenberg, Barbara Carlson
Date: 09/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Administration for Community Living, Mathematica Policy Research
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Food Choices and Store Proximity
Examines household food purchases for those living in low-income, low-access (LILA) areas, with a comparison of rural LILA and urban LILA households. Compares purchases in 14 major food groups that vary in dietary quality. See Tables 6-8 for rural-specific information.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Ilya Rahkovsky, Samantha Snyder
Date: 09/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Availability, Price, and Quality of Fruits and Vegetables in 12 Rural Montana Counties, 2014
Assesses consumer food environment in 17 rural and 3 urban Montana grocery stores using Nutrition Environment Measures Survey for Stores (NEMS-S) to determine availability of quality, fresh food in rural areas.
Author(s): Carmen Byker Shanks, Selena Ahmed, Teresa Smith, et al.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 12
Date: 08/2015
Type: Document
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Older Americans Act: Updated Information on Unmet Need for Services
Examines older adults' reported need for home and community-based services and the potential unmet need for these services. Includes metropolitan and non-metropolitan data on food insecurity and receipt of congregate and home-delivered meals.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 06/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Nutrition-Related Policy and Environmental Strategies to Prevent Obesity in Rural Communities: A Systematic Review of the Literature, 2002-2013
Summarizes findings from 29 rural studies of obesity prevention interventions using nutrition-related and environmental strategies. Includes interventions in school, tribal, farmers market, and other settings. Discusses common strategies for adapting and implementing these programs in rural communities.
Author(s): Larissa Calancie, Jennifer Leeman, Stephanie B. Jilcott Pitts, et al.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 12
Date: 04/2015
Type: Document
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Lack of Healthy Food Options on Children's Menus of Restaurants in the Health-Disparate Dan River Region of Virginia and North Carolina, 2013
Community-based participatory research study describing the quality of food on children's menus in 137 restaurants located in three predominantly rural counties in Virginia and North Carolina, areas with high rates of diabetes and obesity among adults. Looked at healthy eating options for rural compared to urban locations and for areas that are predominantly black, white, and mixed race.
Author(s): Jennie L. Hill, Nicole C. Olive, Clarice N. Waters, et al.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 12
Date: 03/2015
Type: Document
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Connecting People to the Source of Their Food: Changing the Way We Think about Food to Improve Health
Presents a study on local food systems as a means of providing access healthy food in rural communities. Compares outcomes in rural and urban counties.
Author(s): Emily Jackson
Citation: North Carolina Medical Journal, 76(1), 54-56
Date: 01/2015
Type: Document
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Rates of SNAP Receipt Stabilize or Drop in All Regions for First Time Since Great Recession
Provides data on household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in 2013. Includes information for rural, suburban, and urban locations, nationally and by region.
Author(s): Jessica A. Carson, Paul Anskat
Date: 2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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Many Eligible Children Don't Participate in School Nutrition Programs: Reauthorization Offers Opportunities to Improve
Reports on rates of participation in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, comparing rural, urban, and suburban eligible households. Discusses reauthorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 as an opportunity to expand participation in these programs generally and particularly for rural eligible children.
Author(s): Jessica A. Carson
Date: 2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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Determinants of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation from 2008 to 2012
A discussion of the social and economic determinants of enrollment in the SNAP program. Includes data and statistics regarding economic variables, the effect of state policy on program use, demographics of the recipients, and length of use and re-entry unto the program. Rural specific information included on pages A 33-34 and the food access table (A.29).
Author(s): James Mabli, Thomas Godfrey, Nancy Wemmerus, Joshua Leftin, Stephan Tordella
Date: 12/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Food and Nutrition Service
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Measuring Access to Healthful, Affordable Food in American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Areas
Compares the distances to food markets that provide healthful and affordable foods in tribal areas with that of the general U.S. population, and the effect of distance and limited food availability on the health of tribal populations.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Phillip Kaufman, Chris Dicken, Ryan Williams
Date: 12/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Perceived Reactions of Elementary School Students to Changes in School Lunches after Implementation of the United States Department of Agriculture's New Meals Standards: Minimal Backlash, but Rural and Socioeconomic Disparities Exist
Study assesses the observation by school staff of rural and urban student reaction to changes in the school lunch menus, implemented in 2012 according to revised standards required by the USDA’s National School Lunch Program.
Author(s): Lindsey Turner, Frank J. Chaloupka
Citation: Childhood Obesity, 10(4), 349-356
Date: 08/2014
Type: Document
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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Rural Households
Examines the use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly known as food stamps) by household and place of residence, including a comparison of rural, micropolitan, and metropolitan areas. It also looks at the age of individuals in households receiving SNAP, recognizing that elder and child populations are most at risk of food insecurity. Argues the importance of SNAP in rural communities.
Author(s): Jon M. Bailey
Date: 07/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Rural Affairs
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Food For Every Child: The Need for Healthy Food Financing in Ohio
Describes the extent and implications of food deserts in rural and urban Ohio and outlines a solution by financing the construction of grocery stores in underserved areas.
Author(s): Jordan Tucker, Caroline Harries, Risa Waldoks
Date: 06/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: The Food Trust
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Developing an Agenda for Research about Policies to Improve Access to Healthy Foods in Rural Communities: A Concept Mapping Study
Identifies factors in accessing healthy, affordable food in rural areas of the U.S. and outlines a rural food policy research agenda.
Author(s): Donna B. Johnson, Emilee Quinn, Marilyn Sitaker, et al.
Citation: BMC Public Health, 14, 592
Date: 06/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: BioMed Central
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Comparing Farmers’ Market Revenue Trends Before and After the Implementation of a Monetary Incentive for Recipients of Food Assistance
An analysis of the effect of financial incentives for individuals and families who receive food assistance to encourage the purchase of fruits and vegetables at farmers markets located at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in rural South Carolina.
Author(s): Darcy A. Freedman, Amy Mattison-Faye, Kassandra Alia, et al.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 11
Date: 05/2014
Type: Document
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Assessing the Food Environment of a Rural Community: Baseline Findings From the Heart of New Ulm Project, Minnesota, 2010-2011
Details a study on the food environment and rate of obesity in New Ulm, Minnesota from 2010-2011. Analyzes survey data related to nutrition in foods from restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores in New Ulm. Breaks down data by restaurant type, type of food served, and food portions, among other factors.
Author(s): Raquel F. Pereira, Abbey C. Sidebottom, Jackie L. Boucher, Rebecca Lindberg, Rebecca Werner
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 11
Date: 03/2014
Type: Document
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Food Insecurity in Households with Children: Prevalence, Severity, and Household Characteristics
Describes the prevalence and severity of food insecurity in households with children in 2011, the trends since 1999, and characteristics of households affected by food insecurity in 2010 and 2011. Compares some data according to geographic location for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Alisha Coleman-Jensen, William McFall, Mark Nord
Date: 05/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Food Programs Aim to Help Specific Populations: Rural Elderly and Children Often the Most Vulnerable to Hunger
Highlights Kids’ Cafes, community gardens, backpack programs, and mobile pantries which target hungry seniors, children, and families.
Author(s): Candi Helseth
Citation: Rural Monitor, 2013(Spring)
Date: 05/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Food Pantries Serving More and More of the Rural Poor
Highlights food pantries and other volunteer operations who serve rural households experiencing food insecurity, often for the first time.
Author(s): Candi Helseth
Citation: Rural Monitor, 2013(Spring)
Date: 05/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Different Measures of Food Access Inform Different Solutions
Shows research findings based on updated national measures of food access in rural and urban areas. Includes data on vehicle ownership, distance from the nearest supermarket, employment status, income level, age, and education.
Author(s): Paula Dutko, Michele Ver Ploeg
Citation: Amber Waves
Date: 03/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters: A Review of the Research
Reviews current literature and provides a summary of what is known about access to healthy food. Includes information specific to rural food access.
Author(s): Judith Bell, Gabriella Mora, Erin Hagan, Victor Rubin, Allison Karpyn
Date: 2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: PolicyLink
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Hunger and Housing in Rural America: Intersecting Challenges and Solutions
Focuses on the intersecting challenges of housing and food security in rural America. Discusses programs in Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and efforts to address food deserts and hunger at the national level.
Citation: Rural Voices, 18(3)
Date: 2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
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Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Updated Estimates of Distance to Supermarkets Using 2010 Data
Reports on how far people must travel to purchase healthy and affordable foods. Includes data for low-income and middle/high-income rural and urban areas.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Michele Ver Ploeg, Vince Breneman, Paula Dutko, et al.
Date: 11/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Characteristics and Influential Factors of Food Deserts
Examines the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of food desert tracts to see how they differ from other census tracts and the extent to which these differences influence food desert status. Includes information comparing rural and urban food deserts.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Paula Dutko, Michele Ver Ploeg, Tracey Farrigan
Date: 08/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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A Cross-Sectional Study of US Rural Adults’ Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables: Do They Consume at Least Five Servings Daily?
Explores the prevalence differences between U.S. rural and non-rural adults in consuming at least five servings of fruits and/or vegetables daily. Provides state-by-state consumption percentages for both rural and non-rural adult residents, and discusses the link between rural status, fruit and vegetable consumption, chronic disease, and numerous other variables.
Author(s): M. Nawal Lutfiyya, Linda F. Chang, Martin S. Lipsky
Citation: BMC Public Health, 12(280)
Date: 06/2012
Type: Document
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Access to Healthy Food: Challenges and Opportunities
Discusses food security, food deserts, food swamps, and the relationship between access to healthy food and obesity. Reports that in rural areas, a lack of transportation can make it more difficult for residents to access healthy food.
Date: 06/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Public Health Law Center
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Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits (Full Report)
Reports on a study that shows how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) improves the welfare of low-income households. Compares poverty data and SNAP benefits in metropolitan areas versus nonmetropolitan areas.
Additional links: Report Summary
Author(s): Laura Tiehen, Dean Jolliffe, Craig Gundersen
Date: 04/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Understanding the Rural Food Environment: Perspectives of Low-income Parents
Describes barriers rural, low-income families face to access quality, affordable, and healthful food. Concludes that remedies used in urban areas will not help to fix the problem of food deserts in rural areas.
Author(s): Anush Yousefian, Al Leighton, Kimberly Fox, David Hartley
Citation: Rural and Remote Health, 11, 1631
Date: 04/2011
Type: Document
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U.S. Rural Adults’ Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables: Who Is Consuming at Least Five Servings Daily?
Reports on a study that examined differences in fruit and vegetable consumption between U.S. rural and non-rural adults and identified associated characteristics. Presents data by various demographic markers, by state, and rural vs. urban.
Author(s): M. Nawal Lutfiyya, Linda Chang, Martin S. Lipsky
Date: 2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Essentia Institute of Rural Health
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Hunger and Obesity: Understanding a Food Insecurity Paradigm: Workshop Summary
Presents the results from a workshop, held November 16-18, 2010, which explored the relationship between food insecurity and obesity. Chapter 4 focuses on four populations - children, immigrants, American Indians, and rural populations - as a way to discuss potential links between food insecurity and obesity.
Additional links: Read Online
Date: 2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Health and Medicine Division (HMD), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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How Far Would You Drive for Fresh Food? How Some Rural New Hampshire Residents Navigate a Dismal Food Landscape
Describes the experiences of eighteen rural New Hampshire mothers with young children trying, and often struggling, to secure healthy, affordable, and quality foods.
Author(s): Jennifer J. Esala
Date: 2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Data System
Interactive, web-based mapping utility that illustrates program participation and benefit levels down to the county level. Shows per capita participation, per capita benefits, changes from year to year, and more.
Date: 2011
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Rural Grocery Stores: Ownership Models that Work for Rural Communities
Describes the four primary models of rural grocery store ownership - independent retailer, community-owned, cooperative, and school-based - and provides examples of each. Supplements information presented in the previous brief, Rural Grocery Stores: Importance and Challenges, that highlights the importance of maintaining grocery stores in rural communities.
Author(s): Jon M. Bailey
Date: 10/2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Rural Affairs
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Rural Grocery Stores: Importance and Challenges
Examines trends regarding rural grocery stores, reasons why rural communities are losing grocery stores, and some of the personal and community implications when a community lacks a grocery store. Also explores issues and challenges facing rural grocery stores.
Author(s): Jon M. Bailey
Date: 10/2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Rural Affairs
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Patterns of Food Insecurity, Food Availability, and Health Outcomes Among Rural and Urban Counties
Compares food insecurity for rural versus urban counties and addresses factors contributing to food insecurity risk, as well as associated health outcomes.
Additional links: Policy Brief
Author(s): Joel Halverson, Cheryl Brown, Melissa Olfert, Melissa Ahern, Christiaan Abildso
Date: 06/2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
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Healthy Food, Healthy Communities: Promising Strategies to Improve Access to Fresh, Healthy Food and Transform Communities
Describes how low-income communities of color and low-income rural areas are most affected by limited access to healthy food. Discusses challenges and solutions to improve this disparity.
Author(s): Rebecca Flournoy
Date: 2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: PolicyLink
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Challenges in Serving Rural American Children Through the Summer Food Service Program
Reports on barriers to locating Summer Food Service programs in rural areas and to participation in the programs by rural children. Challenges discussed include lack of transportation and long distances to Summer Food Service sites.
Author(s): Barbara Wauchope, Nena Stracuzzi
Date: 2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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Federal Child Nutrition Programs are Important to Rural Households
Examines participation data from rural households in four federal programs: the National School Lunch Program; the School Breakfast Program; the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program; and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Author(s): Barbara Wauchope, Anne Shattuck
Date: 2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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Attracting Vendors and Customers to Rural Farmers Markets
Strategies and tips for rural communities interested in establishing a farmers market to improve access to healthy food.
Date: 2009
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
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Rural Food Access Toolkit
Resources and best practices to help rural communities improve access to healthy food. Identifies program models and examples, and discusses implementation, evaluation, sustainability, and dissemination of program results.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Pueblo of Pojoaque Energizes Local Food Economy
Describes a project begun in 2009 to improve Rio Grand Valley tribal members’ nutrition and expand the local food economy by developing a pueblo farm.
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Administration for Native Americans
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SNAP Map: SNAP Matters in Every Community
Interactive map showing participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by county. Also shows SNAP participation for rural areas, small towns, and metropolitan areas.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Food Research & Action Center
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Food Insecurity in The United States
Map providing county-level data on food insecurity and child food insecurity. Includes estimates of eligibility for nutrition programs among food insecure people. Also identifies annual food budget shortfall.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Feeding America
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Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Reports Database
Two searchable databases, one for peer-reviewed research reports and articles and the other for RIDGE (Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics) project summaries. Material for each database focuses on social science research centered around the challenges faced by rural areas regarding food and nutrition assistance. Allows search by title, year, topic, and data set.
Type: Database
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Rural Hunger Facts
Provides an overview of the challenges rural communities face related to hunger, with selected statistics on rural food insecurity.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Feeding America
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PubMed Search: Rural Hunger and Access to Healthy Food
Searches PubMed's collection of journal article citations on the topic of rural hunger and access to healthy food.
Type: Literature Search
Sponsoring organization: U.S. National Library of Medicine
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Food Access Research Atlas
Provides access to county-level data and an interactive map presenting information on food access indicators for low-income and other subpopulations.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Profiles of Hunger, Poverty, and Federal Nutrition Programs
State profiles that report on how well states are doing at meeting the food needs of low-income residents. Includes data on poverty, food insecurity, funding of and participation in federal nutrition programs, and state economic security policies.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Food Research & Action Center
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Rural Grocery Initiative
Identifies and develops models to sustain retail sources of food for rural communities. Provides a toolkit for communities interested in establishing or maintaining a rural grocery store. Also offers videos featuring rural grocery store projects and information on the National Rural Grocery Summit.
Type: Website
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Food Environment Atlas
Web-based mapping tool providing access to county-level data on multiple factors affecting access to healthy, affordable food. Includes information on grocery store availability, food assistance, and food insecurity. Covers data on physical activity, diabetes, obesity, and socioeconomic characteristics.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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National Association for State Community Services Programs: State Contacts
Provides a searchable listing of contacts for state community services programs funded through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (DOE/WAP). Implements services including weatherization, energy assistance, child care, nutrition, employment, state energy programs, job training, and housing in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
Type: Directory
Sponsoring organization: National Association for State Community Services Programs
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Food Security in the U.S.
An overview of food security in the United States and the resources and research findings available through the USDA Economic Research Service related to this topic. Includes reports, tools, and other information for understanding food security.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Online Services for Key Low-Income Benefit Programs
Provides state-by-state information on online services related to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps), Medicaid, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and child care assistance.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
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Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit
Toolkit of standardized measurement tools for assessing various aspects of community food security.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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Additional resources are available related to this guide. See the full list of resources by topic for:


Last Updated: 11/16/2018