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Planning / Baltimore Food Policy Initiative / Food Deserts

Food Deserts

Food Policy Task Force Recommendation “Support Research on Food Deserts and Collaboration with Policy Makers”

Food Environment Maps

Baltimore City, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), produced the 2015 Food Environment Map and Report to draw attention to food access patterns in Baltimore City’s neighborhoods and to assist with policy development and implementation. Based on Baltimore’s food desert definition, the map shows where the need for improved access to healthy food is concentrated in terms of economic resources and store locations. The food environment map has been instrumental in developing BFPI’s Food Desert Retail Strategy to address healthy food access challenges and barriers in Baltimore City.

A food desert in Baltimore City is defined as:

  • An area where the distance to a supermarket or supermarket alternative is more than ¼ mile
  • The median household income is at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Over 30% of households have no vehicle available
  • The average Healthy Food Availability Index (HFAI) score for all food stores is low

Food Environment Maps and Reports

2015 Food Environment Map: Baltimore City
Mapping Baltimore City’s Food Environment: 2015 Executive Summary
Mapping Baltimore City’s Food Environment: 2015 Report
Mapping Baltimore City’s Food Environment: 2015 Council District Maps


Department of Planning

Baltimore Food Policy Initiative
Office of Sustainability
Department of Planning
417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

Holly Freishtat, MS
Baltimore City Food Policy Director
(443) 928-3477
Holly Freishtat

Sarah Buzogany
Food Access Planner
(410) 396-4359
Sarah Buzogany

Alice Huang
Food Access Planner
Alice Huang

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