Using GIS to Address Food Availability in Durham, North Carolina

  • Garrett Love North Carolina Central University
  • Timothy Mulrooney North Carolina Central University
  • LaDonna Brown North Carolina Central University
Keywords: Food desert, food accessibility, GIS


Lifestyle choices and genetics contribute to individual susceptibility to health related ailments, but environmental factors such as the accessibility to fresh and healthy food can also affect entire conununities. The term food desert is used to describe areas within low income communities that have limited accessibility to supennarkets. We used Geographic Information Systems to explore accessibility to supem1arkets in Durham, North Carolina, and suggest potential sites for future supermarkets. Models help explain supermarket accessibility using census-derived indicator variables. Convenience stores also serve as a source of lower quality food.