About the Project

In June 2013, the Food Mapping Team was awarded an Innovation Initiative grant by the OSU Food Innovation Center. This grant funds the Mapping the Food Environment project.

The objectives of this research initiative are:

  1. To develop a comprehensive, user-friendly food access data hub to facilitate research and collaboration for food mapping-related research to enhance productivity and maximize community benefit;
  2. To integrate secondary and primary data sets related to food security, food access, food production, health, community assets, sociodemographic variables, and food affordability for use in translational outcomes-based research;
  3. To integrate and enhance the existing mapping and modeling methodologies that have been developed by team members, and test and improve food environment indicators for use in evaluating policy interventions. Results of this project will provide the infrastructure and preliminary data and results for grant proposals to USDA, CDC, and health-oriented foundations (e.g., Robert Wood Johnson).

As part of this research effort, the team administered a survey to residents of sections of central Columbus covering the neighborhoods of Milo-Grogan, Weinland Park, Victorian Village, Italian Village, Downtown, Franklinton and the Near East Side. The specific objective of the survey effort was to obtain localized primary data (Objective 2 above) from the perspectives of Columbus residents that will help the Food Mapping Team:

  1. Develop a detailed spatial understanding of the food environment;
  2. Compare food environments of diverse populations living in different areas and
    comprised of different sociodemographic characteristics;
  3. Provide community partners and policymakers with reliable, representative data
    pertaining to food access, food patterns and behaviors, health conditions related to diet, food security, and neighborhood characteristics.

Project Team

Michelle Kaiser, Primary Investigator

Shayla Martin and Nick Stanich, Research Assistants