Data Definitions and Sources

Food Systems Profile Indicator Definitions & Data Sources

Food Access
Food Assistance
Health
Local and Direct Markets
Processing and Distribution
Production Agriculture


Percent of households with no car and greater than 10 miles to a grocery store, 2006, (%)

Why consider this indicator? Transportation to a grocery store plays an important role in understanding how easily families are able to access healthy and affordable foods. Families with limited transportation may resort to accessing food at gas station or convenience stores with limited selections of fresh or healthy food options. Low-income census tracts where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store are known as "food deserts." To qualify as a "low-access community," at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract's population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles). To read m more about food deserts visit the ERS food desert locator http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-desert-locator/go-to-the-locator.aspx

Accessed at http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-environment-atlas/download-the-data.aspx Year 2006 for store data; 2000 for household data Definitions Number of housing units in a county that are more than 1 mile from a supermarket or large grocery store and have no car. Stores that met the definition of a supermarket or large grocery store had at least $2 million in annual sales and contained all the major food departments found in a traditional supermarket, including fresh meat and poultry, dairy, dry and packaged foods, and frozen foods. Low-income is defined as annual household income less than or equal to 200 percent of Federal poverty thresholds for family size.Data are from the report Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food-Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/ap-administrative-publication/ap- 036.aspx.

Percent of low income households with no car and greater than 10 miles to a grocery store, 2006

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Accessed at http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-environment-atlas/download-the-data.aspx

Accessed at http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-environment-atlas/download-the-data.aspx Year 2006 for store data; 2000 for household data Definitions Number of housing units in a county that are more than 1 mile from a supermarket or large grocery store and have no car. Stores that met the definition of a supermarket or large grocery store had at least $2 million in annual sales and contained all the major food departments found in a traditional supermarket, including fresh meat and poultry, dairy, dry and packaged foods, and frozen foods. Low-income is defined as annual household income less than or equal to 200 percent of Federal poverty thresholds for family size.Data are from the report Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food-Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/ap-administrative-publication/ap- 036.aspx.

Number of Grocery Stores per 1000 population

Why consider this indicator?

Availability of food outlets, such as grocery stores, convenience stores/gas stations, fast-food and full-service restaurants, or farmers markets can influence consumer purchasing and dietary behavior. Research suggests that grocery stores and supermarkets are generally more likely to stock a variety of healthy food options at lower prices, compared to convenience stores/gas stations. Additionally, disparities in relative access to "healthy food outlets" exist, with low-income neighborhoods and census tracts, and rural communities having limited access to grocery stores or supermarkets. Negative health outcomes, such as prevalence of obesity and diabetes, have been associated with higher density of fast-food outlets and convenience stores, particularly among people of color and individuals with limited incomes. For households with limited incomes participating in federal food assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the ability to redeem federal benefits at participating stores will also influence which food outlets are visited. Recent research suggests that changes to the WIC food package implemented in 2009 have improved overall availability of healthy foods at WIC authorized stores. Many local food outlets may also serve as a direct market for farmers. Food outlets can promote healthy choices through pricing and promotion strategies, marketing and point of purchase prompts, and providing nutrition information such as through menu labeling (restaurants).

Number of Convenience Stores (see above)

WIC Authorized Stores per 1000 population (see above)

Fast food restaurants per 1000 population (see above)

Full Service Restaurants (see above)

SNAP Authorized Stores per 1000 population, 2010

Why consider this indicator?

Accessed at http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-environment-atlas/download-the-data.aspx Year 2006 for store data; 2000 for household data Year 2010

Definitions The number of stores in the county certified to accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously called Food Stamp Program) per 1,000 county residents. SNAP stores include: supermarkets; large, medium and small grocery stores and convenience stores; super stores and supercenters; warehouse club stores; specialized foodstores (retail bakeries, meat and seafood markets, and produce markets); and meal service providers that serve eligible persons.

Data sources Store data are from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, SNAP Benefits Redemption Division. Population data are from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, http://www.census.gov/popest/index.html. SNAP: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program. SNAP is the federal name for the program but states may have their own unique program names. Participants in SNAP receive food assistance benefits administered electronically through a debit card, or "electronic benefits transfer" (EBT). EBT allows those who rely on assistance to discreetly use their benefits at the supermarket, and increasingly, farmers' markets.

% of Low-Income Receiving SNAP 2011 (%)

Why consider this indicator?

Federal nutrition programs play an important role in supporting families with limited incomes obtain food and protect against food insecurity. SNAP is the largest of all federal programs and provides monthly benefits to eligible families which can be used to purchase food. SNAP benefits can be redeemed at participating food retailers, and may include grocers, convenience stores, farmers markets, and CSAs.

% Students Free Lunch Eligible, 2009 (%)

Why consider this indicator?

Federal nutrition programs play an important role in supporting families with limited incomes obtain food and protect against food insecurity. Children in households with limited incomes may be eligible to receive federally subsidized school meals. Children are eligible to receive free meals if household income is <130% of the Federal Poverty Line and reduced price meals if household income is <185% of the Federal Poverty Line. Planning/assessment of programming in communities with high rates of students eligible for free or reduce price meals takes into consideration disparities in access to healthy food.

Adult Obesity Rate, 2009

Why consider this indicator?

Obesity is related to a number of diet-related chronic health conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, and is costly to the economy. Behavioral (diet and physical activity), environmental (opportunities for active living and healthy eating), and genetic factors (and how certain genes interact with behavior and environment) all contribute to a person's weight.

Child Obesity Rate, 2010

Why consider this indicator?

Obese children are more likely to become obese adults, and if children are overweight obesity in adulthood is likely to be more severe. Obese children are at greater risk for developing diet-related chronic disease at younger ages, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems such as sleep apnea and asthma, joint and musculoskeletal discomfort, and other gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn. Obesity in children, like adults, is a result of behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors. Environmental strategies to prevent obesity focus on making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Adult Diabetes Rate, 2009

Why consider this indicator?

Diabetes remains the leading cause of adult blindness and kidney failure, and is a significant contributor to heart disease and stroke. Several forms of diabetes exist, and while some forms are largely a result of autoimmune disorder (type 1 diabetes), type 2 diabetes is prevented and controlled through diet and activity. In adults, nationally prevalence of diabetes is greater among people of color. Environmental strategies to prevent diabetes focus on making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Farms with Direct Sales per 10,000 Population 1997

Why consider this indicator?

Direct sales comprise one component of regional food systems. It is important to recognize that while farms with direct sales may be located in a particular county, their primary market area may be outside of the county.

Definitions Percent of farms in the county that sell at least some products directly to final consumers. This includes sales from roadside stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own, door-to-door, etc. It does not include sales of craft items or processed products, such as jellies, sausages, and hams. Data sources 2007 Census of Agriculture, http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/index.asp.

Farms with Direct Sales per 10,000 Population, 2002

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Definitions Percent of farms in the county that sell at least some products directly to final consumers. This includes sales from roadside stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own, door-to-door, etc. It does not include sales of craft items or processed products, such as jellies, sausages, and hams. Data sources 2002 Census of Agriculture, http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2002/index.asp.

Farms with Direct sales per 10,000 population 2007

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Year 2002 Population data? Since this wasn't an indicator in the atlas I assume it was computed Definitions Percent of farms in the county that sell at least some products directly to final consumers. This includes sales from roadside stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own, door-to-door, etc. It does not include sales of craft items or processed products, such as jellies, sausages, and hams. Data sources 2007 Census of Agriculture, http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/index.asp.

Farms Direct Sales per Capita, 1997 ($)

Why consider this indicator? This indicator represents the actual reported direct sales of farms in the county and includes sales that occur both in and outside the county.

Definitions Total value of farm sales direct to consumers in thousands of dollars. This includes sales from roadside stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own, door-to-door, etc. It does not include sales of craft items or processed products, such as jellies, sausages, and hams.

Data sources 2007 Census of Agriculture, http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/index.asp.

Farms Direct Sales per Capita, 2002 ($)

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Year 2002. The total value of farm sales direct to consumers in thousands of dollars. This includes sales from roadside stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own, door-to-door, etc. It does not include sales of craft items or processed products, such as jellies, sausages, and hams.

2007 Census of Agriculture. http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/index.asp.

Farms Direct Sales per Capita, 2007 ($)

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Year 2007. The total value of farm sales direct to consumers in thousands of dollars. This includes sales from roadside stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own, door-to-door, etc. It does not include sales of craft items or processed products, such as jellies, sausages, and hams. 2007 Census of Agriculture, http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/index.asp.

Number of Farmers Markets, 2009, (#)

Why consider this indicator? Farmers markets represent a significant component of direct sales. Since the USDA now collects farmers market information nationally, there is significantly more research on farmers markets than other direct markets. Research to date suggests that there may be health, social, community, and some economic impacts of farmers markets.

Year 2009. Number of farmers' markets in the county. A farmer's market is a retail outlet in which two or more vendors sell agricultural products directly to customers through a common marketing channel. At least 51 percent of retail sales are direct to consumers. Data sourced from county-level data for farmers' markets compiled by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, Marketing Services Division, http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/.

Number of Farmers Markets, 2011 (#)

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Year 2011. Number of farmers' markets in the county. A farmer's market is a retail outlet in which two or more vendors sell agricultural products directly to customers through a common marketing channel. At least 51 percent of retail sales are direct to consumers. Data sourced from County-level data for farmers' markets were compiled by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, Marketing Services Division, http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/.

Percentage Change in Number of Farmers' Markets 2009-2011 (%)

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Year 2009 / 2011. Percent change in the number of farmers' markets in the county. A farmer's market is a retail outlet in which two or more vendors sell agricultural products directly to customers through a common marketing channel. At least 51 percent of retail sales are direct to consumers. Percent change indicators are calculated as [(Year 2 - Year 1 / Year 1) * 100]. For indicators where Year 1 has a value of zero, the percent change value is set to -9999 to denote "no value." Data sourced from County-level data for farmers' markets compiled by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, Marketing Services Division, http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/.

Number of Farmers Markets per 10,000 Population, 2011

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Year 2009 Definitions Number of farmers' markets in the county per 1,000 county residents. A farmer's market is a retail outlet in which two or more vendors sell agricultural products directly to customers through a common marketing channel. At least 51 percent of retail sales are direct to consumers. Data sourced from County-level data for farmers' markets compiled by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, Marketing Services Division, http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/. Population data are from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, http://www.census.gov/popest/index.html.

Number of Farm to School Programs, 2009

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Geographic level County Year 2009. Counties with one or more farm to school programs where 1=one or more "farm-to-school" programs and 0=no such participation within the county. These programs include: direct sourcing from local producers, local sourcing through the Department of Defense procurement system (known as "DOD Fresh"), school gardens, farm tours, farm-related nutrition education or other classroom activities, and school menus and snacks highlighting locally sourced or locally available foods. Data sources The National Farm to School Network conducted surveys in 2004 and 2005-06, and compiled the data from these surveys as well as a self-reporting registry maintained by the Network since 2007 at http://www.farmtoschool.org/, supplemented by the Network's periodic updating efforts. To map farm to school programs by county, the list of programs was linked to Federal Information Processing Standard county codes if the program covered the whole county, National Center of Education Statistics Common Core of Data (CCD) school district codes if the program covered the school district, and CCD school codes if the program was limited to an individual school. A county is counted as having a farm to school program whether the program covers the whole county or whether the program operates only in a school or school district within the county.

Number of Farms Selling Directly through CSA, 2007

Why consider this indicator? See above.

Number of farms marketing at least some products through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangement. Data sourced from 2007 Census of Agriculture Counties, http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/index.asp. Year 2002, 2007 Definitions Number of farms marketing at least some products through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangement. Data sources 2002 Census of Agriculture Counties http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2002/index.php 2007 Census of Agriculture Counties, http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/index.asp.

Why consider these indicators? Processing and distribution infrastructure plays a role in of community and regional food systems, particularly in considering sourcing for institutional markets (such as schools or hospitals) that may require processed foods. The processing firms chosen for this profile process food for human consumption and were chosen based on their likelihood of involvement in local and regional food systems. It is important to note that this data includes processors or all sizes and does not distinguish between those that use local products or those that mainly export products out of the county, state, or region. Still this provides a baseline for exploring processing resources that may be available to producers interesting in working within the community or regional food system. The research team is considering how to adequately represent distribution infrastructure related to community food systems using existing secondary data.

Why consider these indicators? Production agriculture data is well documented and provides a baseline for understanding what food is produced in the county for both animal and human consumption.

Data Sourced from the 2007 Census of Agriculture. Specific definitions for each indicator are available at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/usappxb.pdf Access county profiles at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/County_Profiles/

 
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