Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Date Available


Executive Summary

Food security, the constant access to a variety of food at all times by everyone (USDA), is something not all Americans have the pleasure of experiencing. Beaulac et al. (2007) found evidence of disparities in food access by income and race. A neighborhood lacking access to food is what researchers in Scotland defined as food deserts in the 1990’s (Cummins and McIntyre 2002). Food deserts exist all across America leaving citizens with the hardship of deciding to travel for healthy food options or settle for the poor grocery option in their neighborhood. Millions of Americans are faced with this battle, because their neighborhood lacks a supermarket.

Predominately Black neighborhoods include 52 percent less supermarkets than White neighborhoods (Powell 2007), and higher income areas have 30 percent more supermarkets than those with the lowest income (Weinberg 1995). Researchers conducted studies to better understand the impact of a lack of supermarkets that provide healthy food options to residents in these neighborhoods. Because people primarily choose their food based upon the food outlets in their neighborhoods (Furey, et al. 2001), it is important to find a solution to the food desert issue.

Various solutions to food insecurity have been tested, both in America and other countries. One solution presented was urban gardens (Ente and Achike 2008). Urban gardens, a form of urban agriculture, offer its surrounding community the access to fresh fruits and vegetables in place of supermarkets. In this paper, I attempt to determine what characteristics of a neighborhood influence the development of an urban garden as a solution to the problem of food deserts in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. I find that an area being classified as a food desert is positively correlated with the development of urban gardens.



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