Food Vulnerability Analysis

Identified populations having limited access to nutritious foods


Our Community

The goal of this project was to identify populations that have limited access to grocery stores and nutritious foods within Harris County, Texas. This analysis closely follows the methodology of many credible institutions, identifying low income and low access to grocery stores population at a census tract level for the whole United States. Our analytical approach would hone in on a specific county or region and provide these results at a much higher resolution, allowing us to really identify those populations for resource and budget allocations.

Services Provided:

Background research identifying populations having less access to nutritious foods

Download and prepare census data at a block group level

Network Analyst to model accessibility to grocery stores

Analysis to identify potential block groups with limited access to grocery stores



  • Researched literature to determine best method to model populations and food insecurities
  • Obtained and evaluated locations of grocery stores to participate in the analysis, identifying stores that would more likely provide nutritious foods and removing those such as gas stations and other convenient stores
  • Used ArcGIS Network Analyst to model walking accessibility to identify populations that are further than 1/2 mile walking distance from a grocery store.
  • Based on the research parameters identifying vulnerable census block groups and the network analyst results, identified block groups that are considered to have food insecurities


Notable Accomplishments

Through this analysis we were able to identify at a block group level populations that may be considered to have food insecurities and have limited access to nutritious foods

This analysis paves the way to be able to model and map other urban locations that may have low access to healthy and nutritious foods