Published: May 2018

ID #: 1105

Journal: J Acad Nutr Diet

Authors: Racine EF, Delmelle E, Major E, Solomon CA

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This study aimed to: explore the number and spatial distribution of 9,556 SNAP stores in North Carolina by type and assess how SNAP benefit redemption is linked to store type; compare the demographics of populations living in areas with a high concentration of SNAP participants vs areas with a lower concentration of SNAP participants; and test for disparities in the availability of and access to SNAP-authorized stores in areas with high vs low concentration of SNAP participants stratified by rural/urban status. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Census data were used to explore the spatial distribution of SNAP stores at the census block group level using a Geographic Information System. Among the SNAP stores in North Carolina, 83% were limited-variety stores and 17% were full-variety stores. More households in higher SNAP participant census block groups were non-white, did not have a car, and had children compared to census block groups with lower SNAP participation. Residents in high SNAP participant census block groups typically had access to 0 full-variety stores and 4 limited-variety stores in urban areas and 3 full-variety stores and 17 limited-variety stores in rural areas. This research suggests that SNAP participant access to a variety of stores should be considered when approving food stores for SNAP authorization.

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