The Move for Food: Food Desert Alleviation for the Greater Madison, WI Area
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As communities in the United States focus on a national initiative for improving quality of life, the complexity to provide healthy, affordable food for households becomes more apparent. Our objective is to identify potential market locations to alleviate food deserts in communities of the Greater Madison, WI area. The evaluation for site suitability is based on the conditions of food deserts and the distances to potential allowable market locations by alternative transportation mode choices (walk, bicycle, and public transportation). The definition of a food desert varies; we will be using the United States Department of Agriculture’s definition of which is low-income residential areas where a population of 500 and up, or 33% of the total population, are farther than one mile from a grocery store. The first set of maps will outline current areas for food deserts with different transportation buffers placed around grocery stores and supermarkets in Madison, WI. The project will take into account the distance shoppers are willing to travel by walking, bicycling, and public transportation to assess how current food deserts change with respect to transportation mode choice. Maps were created for food deserts focusing on the distance pedestrians will walk for errands, bus routes that reach grocery stores without transferring buses, and the distance bicyclists will ride. The prospective locations for new grocery stores will take into account the distanced traveled and the definition of food deserts as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The second stage of the project created a map of potential sites for food markets based on available commercial zoned locations in Madison, WI that are within our identified current food deserts and accessible by alternative transportation mode choices.