The USDA has developed a great tool for exploring the "food environment." Your Food Environment Atlas offers a variety of indicators for exploring questions such as:
- Who has the best (and worst) access to grocery stores?
- How many people are experiencing food insecurity and need food assistance?
- Which states have the highest levels of obesity and diabetes?
- In which states do people spend the most on fast food?
- What areas have the highest rates of poverty?
- How do prices for certain kinds of foods compare around the country?
- What areas offer farmers markets and farm-to-school programs?
There's also an "advanced query" tool that can identify counties with similar indicators, such as counties with both low access to healthy food and high rates of diabetes.
The atlas is a great tool for helping students explore food security and equality issues (great for integrating into subjects like math, health, civics, language arts, or social studies), or for exploring the "food environment" in your own community.
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