The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food deserts as areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Household income and distance from grocery stores typically influence whether an area is designated as a food desert, along with other considerations, including access to personal/public transportation. Living in food deserts impacts food security, food affordability, federal nutrition program participation, health outcomes, economic and social attainments, real estate prices and more.
Over 25% of Missourians do not have easy access to affordable and nutritious food. Between 2016-2019, 12.8% of Missouri's population experienced food insecurity, with 4.8% percent experiencing very low food security, or hunger. Read more about recently proposed policy solutions to food deserts in Missouri in our related Science Notes: Tax Credits for Grocery Stores in Food Deserts & Tax Credits for Urban Agriculture in Food Deserts.
Join our roundtable discussion in November to hear from local researchers and decision-makers about how evidence-based policy-making can guide the response to and prevention of food insecurity in Missouri.
Speakers will be announced later this month.