Research Article| Volume 44, ISSUE 6, P539-547, November 2012

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Food Deserts in Leon County, FL: Disparate Distribution of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Accepting Stores by Neighborhood Characteristics

Published:January 12, 2012DOI:



      Examine whether neighborhood characteristics of racial composition, income, and rurality were related to distribution of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–accepting stores in Leon County, Florida.


      Cross-sectional; neighborhood and food store data collected in 2008.

      Setting and Participants

      Forty-eight census tracts as proxy of neighborhoods in Leon County, Florida. All stores and SNAP-accepting stores were identified from a commercial business directory and a United States Department of Agriculture SNAP-accepting store list, respectively (n = 288).

      Main Outcome Measures

      Proportion of SNAP-accepting stores across neighborhoods.


      Descriptive statistics to describe distribution of SNAP-accepting stores by neighborhood characteristics. Proportions of SNAP-accepting stores were compared by neighborhood characteristics with Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests.


      Of 288 available stores, 45.1% accepted SNAP benefits. Of the 48 neighborhoods, 16.7% had no SNAP-accepting stores. Proportions of SNAP-accepting grocery stores were significantly different by neighborhood racial composition and income. Primarily black neighborhoods did not have any supermarkets. Results were mixed with regard to distribution of food stores and SNAP-accepting stores by neighborhood racial composition, income, and rurality.

      Conclusions and Implications

      This study suggests disparities in distribution of SNAP-accepting stores across neighborhood characteristics of racial composition, income, and rurality.

      Key Words

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