Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1

Public Policy


Researchers from a range of fields have been concerned with learning about and addressing food security and access issues, but have done less to tackle the specific issue of food deserts. Rooted in a historical analysis of diet and health, I examine how trends in agricultural subsidies and other structural factors contribute to a cycle of health issues, poverty and “mis-nourishment”. Further, I review and evaluate existing interventions. Then, with the use of grounded theory, I conduct a systematic review of sources within the EBSCO Host database concerning both “food access, insecurity and deserts” and “SNAP Benefits” to determine the effectiveness of the SNAP program in addressing the specific issue of food deserts. At the conclusion of my research, the literature led me to believe that, while the SNAP program increases food security, there is not sufficient evidence to prove that the SNAP program specifically targets the issue of food deserts. To better combat the problem of food deserts, other programs need to be established and combined with the SNAP program. Future work should investigate which interventions most effectively target the issue of food deserts, and further research is needed to assess how they can be combined with the SNAP program to address food insecurity.


Written for PP 400: Capstone in Public Policy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.