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San Antonio Food Insecurity Assessment

San Antonio Food Insecurity Assessment



This is a presentation we gave at the first annual San Antonio Food Policy conference in May 2012. It goes through the results of a project funded by the city of San Antonio on assessing food ...

This is a presentation we gave at the first annual San Antonio Food Policy conference in May 2012. It goes through the results of a project funded by the city of San Antonio on assessing food insecurity in the city.



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    San Antonio Food Insecurity Assessment San Antonio Food Insecurity Assessment Presentation Transcript

    • Outline Introduction  What we know about food insecurity Description of SA Food security project  What we WANT to know about food security in our community  Objectives of project  Results from project Summary Limitations Moving forward  Future projects
    • Food Insecurity Food secure—These households had access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.  85.3% of households in 2009 Food insecure—At times during the year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.  14.7% of households In 2009, 50.2 million people lived in food-insecure households, including 17.2 million children. Source: Nord, Mark, Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Margaret Andrews, and Steven Carlson. Household Food Security in the United States, 2009. ERR- 108, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Econ. Res. Serv. November 2010.
    • What we know The prevalence of food insecurity varied considerably among household types. Some groups with rates of food insecurity much higher than the national average (14.7 percent) were:  Households with incomes below the official poverty line—$21,756 for a family of four in 2009—(43.0 percent).  Households with children, headed by a single woman (36.6 percent).  Households with children, headed by a single man (27.8 percent).  Black households (24.9 percent).  Hispanic households (26.9 percent). Source: Nord, Mark, Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Margaret Andrews, and Steven Carlson. Household Food Security in the United States, 2009. ERR- 108, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Econ. Res. Serv. November 2010.
    • What we know about Texas Texas ranks 2nd in the country for food insecurity prevalence. 17.4% of households in Texas were food insecure between 2007-2009. Many Texans qualify for food assistance programs, but do not participate due to:  Limited awareness  Stigma  Inadequate funding  Enrollment barriers (staff shortages, red tape, outdated rules) make the benefits hard to access
    • What we know about San Antonio A study conducted by the San Antonio Food Bank and Feeding American in 2009 finds:  Many clients are food insecure with low or very low food security  Many clients report choosing between food and other necessities (bills, rent/mortgage, medical care, transportation, etc.)  Many clients are in poor health
    • What we know about San Antonio 33% of client households served by the SAFB are receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Among households with children ages 0-3 years of age, 69% participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Among households with school-age children, 57% and 42%, respectively, participate in the federal school lunch and school breakfast programs. Among households with school-age children, 15% participate in the summer food program.
    • Research Objective 1 Identify the populations and areas within Bexar County/San Antonio that are at highest risk of food insecurity  Population risk factors for food insecurity are high unemployment, high poverty rates, minority status, lower educational attainment, poor quality housing/housing tenure and household structure.  US 2000 Census Summary file 3 and the five year American Community Survey (ACS) 2005-2009.  This allows us to map areas within the city that face high levels of food insecurity “risk”
    • Objective 1: Population Level Food Insecurity Risk
    • Risk Index and USDA Food Deserts
    • Who lives in Food Deserts? In 2010, these were the populations that lived in the 60 tracts identified as food deserts in Bexar County 17% of the Bexar County Population lived in a food desert
    • Demographic Comparison of Food Deserts and Non-Food Deserts Food deserts have higher poverty rates, higher minority concentrations, lower incomes, higher foreign born populations and lower marriage rates
    • Research Objective 2 Construct and develop a spatially organized Geographic Information System (GIS) of food resources and resources related to addressing food insecurity problems in the city  Use existing sources, national databases and fieldwork to identify a comprehensive locational database of food resources  The database consists of multiple layers of information, including but not limited to locations of grocery stores, restaurants, food pantries, markets and farmers markets  This allows the visualization and comparison of areas of the city where at-risk populations live with their food resources and transportation opportunities  Also use public data from USDA on “food deserts”
    • Objective 2 Data Reference USA database  Addresses and characteristics of over 16 million businesses in the US  This source was queried for NAICS codes representing restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores and other food- related businesses San Antonio Food Bank  Database of addresses of all partner agencies ESRI road data
    • Objective 2 Methods Geocoding of addresses  Process that gives addresses real world geographic coordinates  Allows businesses to be mapped relative to other features (roads, food deserts, etc) Geographic Network Analysis  Service area analysis  Allows for the mapping of an area around a business to be mapped in terms of drive or walk times  e.g. What are the areas that can reach a grocery store in 15 minutes?
    •  SAFB agencies
    •  Convenience Stores
    •  Restaurants
    •  Grocery Stores
    •  Drive time analysis  Polygons show 5 and 10 minutes drive time areas  Most of Bexar county, and San Antonio especially, has at least a 10 minute accessibility to a grocery  This says nothing about quality of stores or other barriers to access
    • Research Objective 3 Conduct a survey to assess who in San Antonio faces food insecurity  Aimed at documenting social determinants of food insecurity reported by families that belong to at-risk populations within Bexar County  Conduct primary data collection using a survey instrument based on the standardized assessment tool of Bickel et al (USDA protocols)  Focus on areas defined in Objective 1 to target “at risk” population of the city  Responses from this data collection effort were compared to local, state and national level data on food insecurity from the Current Population Survey (CPS) December supplement on Food Insecurity, which uses the same questionnaire
    • Survey Locations 5 Locations Agreed to our survey Claude Black Center Neighborhood Place Christian Assistance Ministry HemisView Farmers Market Flea Market San Antonio
    • Survey Respondents A total of 241 respondents from the five sites
    • Comparison of CPS with Current Survey807060504030 CPS 2009 %20 CPS 2010 % Current Survey %100 Worried food Food did not Not afford to Cut the size of Ever eat less Every hungry Did you lose Did you not would run out last and did eat balanced meals than you because there weight eat for a before get not have meals should was not because there whole day more money money to buy because there enough was not because there more was not money to buy enough was not enough food money to buy enough money to buy food money to buy food food
    • Comparison of Respondents by Residence90.0080.0070.0060.0050.0040.0030.00 Current Survey In Food Desert %20.00 Current Survey Not in Food Desert%10.00 0.00 Worried Food did not Not afford Cut the size Ever eat less Every Did you lose Did you not food would last and did to eat of meals than you hungry weight eat for a run out not have balanced should because because whole day before get money to meals because there was there was because more money buy more there was not enough not enough there was not enough money to money to not enough money to buy food buy food money to buy food buy food
    • Children’s Food Security60504030 CPS 2009 % CPS 2010 % Current Survey %20100 We relied on low cost food to feed the Our children were hungry but we could children because there was not enough not afford more food money
    • Survey Analysis Further analysis of the survey data show: For Adult food insecurity  Non-Hispanic Blacks faced higher food insecurity than both Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites  Use of home gardens shows a very strong association with food insecurity in adults For Children’s food insecurity  Larger households, lack of social support and living in a food desert increase the chances of parents reporting food insecurity for their children  Easy access to grocery stores reduced the chances
    • Summary In this project, three main objectives were attempted  Describe the population level patterns of food insecurity risk in Bexar county  When demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the tracts considered food deserts were compared to those not considered being food deserts, a general picture of socioeconomic inequality appeared.  Food deserts showed several negative characteristics including higher poverty rates and lower average incomes.
    • Summary Construct a spatial database of food resources within Bexar County  An analysis of estimated drive times to grocery stores was presented, and showed that most of the county, and certainly the city of San Antonio has easy access to a grocery store.  The primary value of the database is for future analyses, where specific questions concerning access to specific types of food establishments or comparisons between accessibility to different types of establishments could be carried out.
    • Summary Conduct a survey of individual household food insecurity  Levels of food insecurity among the respondents of the survey were much higher than among the general population of the county.  This most likely stems from the nature of the locations selected for the surveys.  There were few differences in adult food insecurity by age, race or marital status of the respondents.  Additionally, few food access variables affected the rate of food insecurity among adults.  Several associations were found for child food insecurity, including parent’s age, household size, ease of grocery access and social support for food assistance. Additionally, if the respondents lived in a food desert, children within the household were over four times more likely to face food insecurity.
    • Limitations First, by relying on census tracts as a unit of analysis, we are ignoring any real “social neighborhoods” that exist in the city/county.  Tracts are at best a crude proxy for neighborhoods.  Our survey consisted of only a small sample (n=241 people), whose characteristics only roughly match the population they were chosen to represent. Further data must be collected to generate a more representative sample of the county’s population, and further analyses are essential to understanding the food insecurity issues present in our community. The data generated by this project is a good start at forming a database that is inclusive of both individual level surveys and aggregate level neighborhood characteristics.
    • Moving Forward Future Projects  Further studies of food resource access  Focusing on rural areas around Bexar County  Expand food insecurity study to compare rural and urban areas of South Texas  Examine childhood food insecurity and the roles of program participation
    • Acknowledgements Metro Health UTSA College of Public Policy UTSA College of Education and Human Development Numerous student volunteers who assisted with surveys Survey locations for allowing us to conduct our work