Food Supply Adequacy in the Lower Mississippi Delta

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Nutrition and Food Systems


Objective: To assess food supply adequacy within 3 food store types in the Lower Mississippi Delta. Design: Regional food store survey to determine availability and quality of 102 food items in 62 supermarkets, 77 small/medium stores, and 86 convenience stores. Setting: Lower Mississippi Delta region of the United States. Participants: 225 food stores in 18 counties. Main Outcome Measures: Percentage of Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) food items available and quality ratings of 6 food sections across store types. Results: On average, supermarkets carried 96% of the items that compose the TFP. Mean percentage of TFP carried in small/medium stores was 50%. Convenience stores carried 28% of the TFP items. Supermarkets had higher overall quality ratings and quality ratings for fresh and frozen foods compared to small/medium and convenience stores (P <.01). Implications for Research and Practice: Although supermarkets carried a large percentage of items surveyed, the number of supermarkets in this region is limited. Community residents with limited transportation to reach supermarkets may experience limited food supply adequacy. Therefore, community-based nutrition interventions should include partnerships with small/medium food retailers while trying to impact residents' food choices within those stores.

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Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior





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