Place-based disparities in access to affordable food sources (e.g. supermarkets) have been well documented, but geographic access to emergency food sources (e.g. food panties, also known as food shelves) is unknown. This study examined the geography of emergency food in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. US Census and American Community Survey data were used to estimate the average distance to the closest food shelf according to area racial/ethnic composition and foreign-born group composition. In adjusted models, areas with the highest proportion of minority groups had shorter distances to the nearest food shelf (0.13–1.03 log-transformed miles, p < 0.05), as did census tracts with more residents born in East Africa and Latin America (0.29–0.31 log-transformed miles, p < 0.001). Areas with more racial/ethnic minorities and foreign-born groups may have access to emergency food, but efforts are needed to evaluate the healthfulness and culturally relevance of these offerings.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for the lead author (CC) was provided by the NIH/NCI Cancer Related Health Disparities Education and Career Development Program (R25 CA163184). Additional funding for geographic analysis was provided by the Minnesota Population Center (grant R24HD041023).
- food pantries
- immigrant health
- racial/ethnic disparities