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For over a decade, Reinvestment Fund’s Limited Supermarket Access (LSA) Analysis has guided strategic decision-making to increase access to fresh foods for residents living in places with inadequate and inequitable access to grocery stores. The 2023 update to the LSA analysis incorporates methodological refinements informed by policymakers, food access advocates, grocers, and researchers across the country.

For the first time, the LSA analysis results are comparable across the entire country to accurately identify limited, and inequitable, access to full-service super-markets in America’s cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural communities. Key findings include:

  1. Nationally, the share of the population living in Limited-Access Areas has remained stable between 2013 and 2022, at roughly 8.5% of the overall population. However, this overall stability is not equitably distributed across different places and among different groups of residents across the country.
  2. In Urban, Rural, and Remote parts of the country, people living in low-income communities tend to be over-represented in Limited-Access Areas, while in Small Towns and Rural places people living in middle-income communities tend to be over-represented in Limited-Access Areas.
  3. Black, Latino, and Asian residents are disproportionately concentrated in Limited-Access Areas in Urban areas, Small Towns, Rural and Remote parts of the country. In the most Remote parts of the country, Native American populations are heavily over-represented in Limited-Access Areas.

The 2023 LSA update also includes two examples of the way Reinvestment Fund uses the results of the LSA to inform lending and grant making decisions to improve access to healthy foods in West Philadelphia and rural Georgia.

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