Online Program

Using Community Engagement and a GIS-Based Community Food Assessment to Spatio-Temporally Target a Healthy Mobile Food Market in Flint, Michigan

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Richard Sadler, PhD, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Flint, MI
Kellie Mayfield, Department of Food Science & Community Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Introduction: Addressing disparities in access to healthy foods through new bricks and mortar healthy food retail can be cost prohibitive and time consuming, but mobile farmers’ markets present a low-cost, flexible alternative.  These markets, however, do not always capitalize on the principles guiding retail development and the possibilities of GIS-based data.  Our central aim is to create a temporally and spatially responsive approach to the siting of a mobile market in underserved neighborhoods of Flint, Michigan.  Method: Mobile market sites are chosen based on a GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) of: consultation with key community partners (including churches, block clubs, corner stores, and community centers); commercial hubs designated in the city’s master plan; a community food assessment showing where healthy food items may be purchased; and high poverty neighborhoods with high densities of children and youth.  Results: The MCDA yielded a set of best fit neighborhoods, which were cross-referenced with a range of available community sites.  Sales data and use of Double-Up Food Bucks are tracked at each site throughout the summer of 2015 to validate the use of this tool for siting a mobile market.  Discussion: This work addresses the shortcomings of other food desert interventions in two ways: 1) by circumventing the frequent reliance on traditional food retail; and 2) by creating a data-driven approach to siting a mobile food market which optimizes exposure to the greatest number of underserved residents.  Subsequent programs can use this approach to improve the reach of such markets in food deserts.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how to conduct a multi-criteria assessment for locating a healthy mobile food market Describe how mobile markets address nutritional inequalities found in food deserts Discuss the potential of mobile markets for growing the local food system

Keyword(s): Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked closely with community groups in the Flint area for 4 years on food system-related issues, and my work links food systems research with urban geographical and GIS-based approaches.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.