At the nexus of grocery access and transportation

  • Date: 11/06/2023

Most households, especially those experiencing food insecurity, choose their preferred food retailers based on prices, rather than proximity. However, food-insecure households are often transit-dependent, further burdening vulnerable households seeking healthy, affordable groceries. This study sought to better understand the multi-faceted transportation experiences of households with varying food security levels and preferences for grocery access models designed to help overcome transportation barriers to groceries.

Results suggest unequal transportation-based access to preferred grocery stores among respondents, with longer travel times for those most vulnerable to food insecurity. Respondents’ preferences for grocery access models—which may have changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic—provide insight for designing a multi-faceted policy approach to transportation barriers to grocery access.

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