Community food resource assessment in Central City South, Phoenix: a study of community capacity building

Document
Description

Many studies have shown that access to healthy food in the US is unevenly distributed and that supermarkets and other fresh food retailers are less likely to be located in

Many studies have shown that access to healthy food in the US is unevenly distributed and that supermarkets and other fresh food retailers are less likely to be located in low-income minority communities, where convenience and dollar stores are more prevalent grocery options. I formed a partnership with Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, a local community development organization engaged in Central City South, Phoenix, to enhance the community's capacity to meet its community health goals by improving access to healthy food. I used a community-based participatory approach that blended qualitative and quantitative elements to accommodate collaboration between both academic and non-academic partners. Utilizing stakeholder interviews, Nutrition Environment Measures Surveys (NEMS), and mapping to analyze the community's food resources, research revealed that the community lacks adequate access to affordable, nutritious food. Community food stores (n=14) scored an average of 10.9 out of a possible 54 points using the NEMS scoring protocol. The community food assessment is an essential step in improving access to healthy food for CCS residents and provides a baseline for tracking progress to improve residents' food access. Recommendations were drafted by the research partnership to equip and empower the community with strategic, community-specific interventions based on the research findings.