Barbara Butrica, Stipica Mudrazija & Jonathan Schwabish (Urban institute). The Geography of Disability and Food Insecurity (2022)



Despite a wealth of research into factors related to food insecurity and research on how disability is associated with economic outcomes, our knowledge of the relationship between disability and food insecurity remains limited. Largely missing from existing studies is how access to food influences the relationship between disability and food insecurity. In this brief and its accompanying paper, we seek to fill this gap in the literature by combining geographic data on food establishments with other relevant demographic and economic information. Unlike in previous studies, these data allow us to measure access to food by analyzing the availability and accessibility of food and related establishments. We find that counties with high rates of people with disabilities also have limited availability and accessibility of food establishments; many of these same counties also have high rates of food insecurity; and food establishments in high-disability counties are more likely to offer unhealthy food options.