University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Keywords

food desert, Arkansas, peer-to-peer, collaborative consumption, multi-criteria analysis

Abstract

Abstract

Nearly 10% of Americans reside in low-income urban food deserts which are low-income areas that lack access to affordable and nutritious foods. Food deserts in Arkansas contribute to a food insecurity rate above the national average, making it one of the most food insecure states in the country. Increased internet usage and consumer interest in sharing based companies contribute to the idea of a sharing, or peer-to-peer (P2P) style food redistribution program. The objective of this study is to identify which of the 186,211census blocks in the state of Arkansas are food deserts and best suited for and in the most need, based on an identified set of criteria, of a P2P food redistribution program. A multi-criteria decision analysis was conducted using population, internet access, vulnerable communities, and vehicle availability as criteria. Results suggest that based upon the close proximity of priority areas, transportation access, ethnic/racial diversity, and the number of possible collection locations, Pulaski County be targeted for a P2P food redistribution pilot program.

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