Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Assessing the Proximity of Healthy Food Options and Food Deserts in a Rural Area in Maine

Abstract: 

The purpose of the project described in this paper was to assess and describe the food environment facing public assistance clients in a rural county in Maine. Using the concept of a "food desert" and an objective tool for rating participating food outlets, the research team developed a spatial model of client access to healthy foods. The final map shows that most rural residents are within acceptable distances of well-rated stores, though these may not be supermarkets. Research Highlights: "Food Deserts" are defined by distance to supermarkets as sources of healthy food. Stores of all types can be objectively rated for fresh, reasonably priced healthy food. Food deserts re-assessed through ratings may not be true deserts. Information campaigns based on ratings can identify local places and foods to meet consumer needs

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
October 22, 2010

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.

 

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