Food Insecurity and Food Access in U.S. Metro Areas

A. Bonanno, J. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Household food insecurity in the United States has reached its highest levels to date. As public and private initiatives have emerged to help improve diets by fostering access to food, the availability of more food stores may result in lower levels of food insecurity. In this article, we assess the relationship between adult food insecurity and food store density in metropolitan areas of the United States. We find that while small grocery/convenience stores show a mitigating effect on adult food insecurity across different samples of households, the effects of large supermarkets/grocery stores and supercenters vary. We also find that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation and food access can have a simultaneously beneficial effect in reducing adult food insecurity. Implications for policies aiming to improve food security by fostering access to food stores are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-204
Number of pages28
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • stamp program
  • wal-mart
  • neighborhood characteristics
  • united-states
  • competition
  • variables
  • models
  • participation
  • supercenters
  • endogeneity

Cite this