Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-17-2019


Cities are spatially diverse, with enclaves of particular demo- graphic groups, clusters of businesses, and pockets of low-income individuals living amid affluence.

This essay presents data from New York City to illustrate the importance of measuring and addressing neighborhood characteristics that affect Sup- plemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation and the purchasing power of SNAP benefits: pockets of “eligible-but-not-enrolled” in- dividuals, proximity between SNAP participants and jobs, and variations in food prices across neighborhoods.

It concludes with 5 exam- ples of how addressing these community-scale issues can increase SNAP participation and food access.


This work was originally published in the American Journal of Public Health, available at doi:10.2105/AJPH.2019.



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