USDA Economic Research Service (ERS)

The USDA ERS website has many food access related resources including:

  • A Publications webpage with over 800 reports on nutrition, farm economy, policy topics, and the  rural economy
  • The ERS Food Security Briefing Room webpage covers the history of food security, statistics on food hardship and key terms involved in dealing with food security
  • Food Environmental Atlas page provides a spatial overview of a community's ability to access food
  • State Fact Sheets include information on “population, income, education, employment, federal funds, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and exports.”

http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodSecurity/

USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS)

The FNS research webpage includes resources on the SNAP (food stamp) program, WIC, food insecurity, nutrition education, child nutrition and food distribution studies. The FNS regulations webpage includes legislation resources for school meals programs, SNAP, summer meal service, WIC, and the Child, Adult and Elderly Care Food Program.

The Food Assistance Program webpage provides resources to Food Distribution on Indian Reservations, Hunger and Food Insecurity, elderly nutrition programs, and head start.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/

USDA Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS)

AMS provides many resources related to food access, including farmer markets and local foods, agriculture community supported agriculture, supply chains and marketing. The new AMS Food Desert webpage from the Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, regarding how food deserts are identified, grant opportunities, success stories, FAQs and a summary of the USDA’s initiative, and food desert census track data. Resources for grants are listed on the site and include opportunities in 19 programs within the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Agriculture.

http://apps.ams.usda.gov/fooddeserts/

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

The Leopold Center is interested in research and programs that can make agriculture more profitable and keep small and mid-sized farmers on their land. The Leopold Center's Research and Programs webpage includes resources on current available competitive grants; policy, marketing and food systems, ecology initiatives and other projects that the Center is working on.

http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/research/research_programs.htm

National Agriculture Library Catalogue (NAL)

The NAL resource catalog includes publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture, including animal and veterinary sciences, entomology, plant sciences, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, farming and farming systems, agricultural economics, extension and education, food and human nutrition, and earth and environmental sciences. Specific resource pages within NAL that are related to food access:

- The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center page provides data, news and reports dealing with sustainable food and farming systems including organic production, education and research, farm energy options, farms and community (see below), grazing systems and livestock breeds, alternative marketing and business practices. 

- This link from the NAL’s Food and Nutrition Information Center includes resources and information on Cultural and Ethnic Food and nutrition education materials for educators. Resources are online and available to borrow from the NAL and cover topics such as minority women’s health, menu planning, food distribution on Native American Reservations, and foreign language resources for educators.

- Farms and Community resources page

- Dietary Guidance for Ethnic/ Cultural Food guide Pyramid

http://agricola.nal.usda.gov/

 

USDA Food Environmental Atlas

The recently updated USDA Food Atlas is designed to provide a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and currently assembles 168 indicators of the food environment, up from the original 90 indicators of food access. The measures include factors such as availability of food stores and restaurants, food prices, socioeconomic characteristics, and health outcomes. 

http://maps.ers.usda.gov/FoodAtlas/

Regional Food Hubs: Understanding the Scope and Scale of Food Hub Operations

This presentation presents findings from interviews conducted with the help of the Food Hub Tactical Team which is comprised of the Wallace Center, USDA Agriculture Marketing Service, Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Economic Research Service and Agricultural Research Service. The Food Hub Tactical Team looks at how to develop viable local and regional food systems by conducting interviews with food hubs, identifies the core components of a food hub, and offers examples of models from across the country.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5090409

Breaking Down Market Barriers for Small and Mid-Sized Organic Growers

USDA Agriculture Marketing Service and the California Institute for Rural Studies present a background on organic marketing, findings on marketing challenges, and provides resources on marketing to wholesale, retail, and institutional buyers and directly to consumers.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5081306&acct=wdmgeninfo

Compare the Structure, Size and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains

This USDA Economic Research Service report from June 2010 uses case studies to compare the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains to mainstream food supply chains.

http://hortmgt.gomez.dyson.cornell.edu/PDF/Current%20Project/Local%20Food/King%20et%20al_USDA_ERS.pdf

Emerging Market Opportunities for Small Scale Producers

This report is the result of a proceeding of a special session at the August 2008 panel discussion that brought community based organizations that work with socially disadvantaged farmers together. The report offers information on farm-to-consumer marketing tactics, market channels available for farmers to increase their farm-to-firm sales and case interviews with produce buyers from Whole Foods and Keany Produce Company.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5076556&acct=wdmgeninfo

USDA Food Environmental Atlas

The recently updated USDA Food Environmetal Atlas is designed to provide a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and currently assembles 168 indicators of the food environment, up from the original 90 indicators of food access. The measures include factors such as availability of food stores and restaurants, food prices, socioeconomic characteristics, and health outcomes.