Number of City supported fresh food access points in census tracts with higher than average food insecurity rates


City-supported fresh food access sites are City of Austin funded programs that include:
  • Child and Adult Care Food Programs
  • Kids Café
  • Summer Food Service Programs
  • Congregate Meal Programs
  • Community and Senior Gardens on City-owned land
  • Fresh for Less Mobile Markets
  • Food pantry and community luncheons at Neighborhood Centers 
Recognizing that access to healthy food is essential to the well-being of the community, the City of Austin funds 82 programs across the City at 55 different locations in an effort to increase the amount of healthy and affordable food available in low-income communities.  
68 out of 82 of those programs are located in a census tract with a higher than average* food insecurity rate.
*Higher than the national average food insecurity rate of  12.9%


This measure is trending down because food insecurity has decreased from 2020 resulting in fewer Fresh Food Access Points in areas with higher than average food insecurity rates.  
Note: To see the underlying data for this chart, please select the "View Source Data" link.

Additional Measure Insights

While Austin can celebrate a vibrant economy and a multitude of food assets (food retail, community and school gardens, food pantries, farmers markets, and more), the city’s food insecurity rate is still higher than the national average of 12.9 percent. An extensive outreach effort led by the Office of Sustainability showed that the experience of food security is influenced by many factors; however, four key barriers to accessing healthy food were identified: 1) Availability of healthy food, 2) Affordability of fresh produce, 3) Awareness of food assistance programs, and 4) Mobility options.   

A food environment is a set of factors--physical, economic, and social -- that influence where an individual shops for food, and what kinds of food they purchase.  This Food Environment Analysis expands the traditional food desert maps to offer a more detailed and nuanced understanding of healthy food access in Austin-Travis County. 

According to this 2017 Food Environment Analysis, 11% of all African-Americans in Austin-Travis County live in areas that face all four barriers to healthy food access, compared to 9% of Latinx, 5% of Asian-American, and 5% of white residents.
Food Environment Assessment (2017)
Explore the areas in Austin that are facing barriers to healthy food access by clicking on the map to identify which food environment barriers are present in the selected area.

Measure Details and Definition

1) Definition:  City-supported fresh food access points are places for people to grow, purchase, or access free food resources through programs sponsored by the City of Austin.
2) Calculation method:  This measure was calculated by mapping the fresh food access points and analyzing which locations were located in census tracts with higher than the national average food insecurity rate of 12.9 percent. 
3) Data Collection Process: Location information about City-supported fresh food access points and programs was collected from Austin Public Health and Austin Parks and Recreation Department.  Food insecurity estimates by census tracts are provided by Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.  For more information on Feeding America's methodology, visit their website.
4) Measure Target Calculation: The target was calculated based on a 2% per year increase in City-supported fresh food access sites. For 2021 and 2022, this will be the equivalent of adding 1-2 new locations a year.
5) Frequency Measure is Reported: Annually (Calendar Year)

Date page was last updated: December 2021