Making Action Possible

A Comprehensive Food Access Analysis in Tucson

This project was built upon our recent Making Action Possible (MAP) study ‘A Comprehensive Food Access Analysis in Tucson.’ In this case study, we located and mapped all the chain stores (106) and independent food stores (47) throughout the city of Tucson. Additionally, each of the independent food stores were surveyed to identify the availability and accessibility of food product sold. From the spatial and statistical analysis, it was determined that the existence of such alternative food outlets significantly changed the foodscape in the Tucson urban area, especially in low-income neighborhoods. In the MAP project, we noticed that chain stores tend to offer less variety of food items at higher prices in low-income neighborhoods. Therefore small independent stores provided valuable resources to people living in low-income, food desert regions particularly in the availability and accessibility of fresh and ethnic foods. However, although alternative food outlets help increase food access for low-income population groups by providing a range of ethnic foods, fresh fruits and vegetables are often limited.


Funded by: Economic and Business Research Center, University of Arizona