Food Access Maps
Food insecurity is a complex issue. That's why GIS mapping can help visualize the issue of food insecurity across Jefferson County and the Denver Metro region. Through this series of interactive maps, you can visualize areas that lack adequate access to healthy, affordable food or have a high concentration of fast food options. You can also see the locations of important local resources, such as Community Supported Agriculture programs and food pantries, and their proximity to high needs areas.
Explore the interactive maps below and use the data for your own work.
100 Miles from Jeffco
This interactive map is a simple visualization showing linear distance and the driving distance along road networks from the geographic center of Jefferson County. This map was generated in response to a discussion at the Food Policy Council about “buy local” policies and what geographic areas, and therefore local food sources, would be considered within 100 miles of Jefferson County.
At-Risk Index (ACS 2015-2019)
- Median household income
- Percentage households below poverty
- Median value of owner-occupied housing units
- Percentage of housing units that are owner occupied
- Percentage of adults 25 years and older with complete high school
- Percentage of adults 25 years and older with complete college
- Percentage of persons 16 and older in management, business, science, arts occupations
- Percentage Unemployed
Each of these indicators is compared to the state average. Any indicator falling below the state average (or above in the case of poverty) is considered at risk for that factor and given a value of 1. Each area on the map represents a Census block group and each of the indicators given a value of 1 are added together to get an At-Risk Rank for each area from 0-8. A rank of 0 means there are no At-Risk indicators. A rank of 8 means all At-Risk indicators are present. Areas ranked from 6-8 are considered High Needs areas warranting additional engagement with the local community.
Bondadosa Grocery Delivery
Abarrotes Bondadosa (Bondadosa) is a grocery delivery service with the mission of increasing fruit and vegetable access for communities across the Denver Metro region. Bondasosa wanted to look at areas in which they could expand their services, particularly into Jefferson County. In knowing the zip codes where their current customers reside, they wanted to investigate whether the areas we have identified as high need, as well as several other demographic characteristics, would help them determine where to look next. This interactive map allows them to view high needs areas, median household income, concentrations of single-parent families, Hispanic and Latino populations and elder populations.
Community Supported Agriculture Locations
As part of the Food Policy Council’s effort to increase awareness about local, healthy and affordable food options, it's important to connect the community with local food growers, farmers, farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. This map was developed to help visualize just how accessible CSA pickup sites are in Jefferson County.
Food Deserts, Food Swamps and High Needs Areas in Jefferson County
Jefferson County Public Health has been identifying High Needs areas in the County for the past five years. More recently there has been a desire to show the intersection between high needs areas, areas with limited access to grocery stores (food deserts) and areas with an overabundance of fast food options (food swamps). While the USDA provides some data about where food deserts exist the geographic scale makes it difficult to identify neighborhoods where resources may be lacking. This story map describes our process for identifying areas of high needs, food deserts and food swamps; how our methodology differs from the USDA; and how these all intersect.
Food Pantries and School Free & Reduced Lunch
Food Retail, Food Deserts, Food Swamps (2021)
The Jefferson County Food Policy Council has been using this information to identify potential areas where residents are struggling to access healthy food. Members connect with individuals and organizations to “ground truth” or verify that the data is accurate and identify partners to collaborate with in designing programs and policies to increase food security and ensure access to healthy, nutritious and affordable foods. Stay tuned for updates as the work progresses.
This map depicts the food retails landscape and includes the locations of the following types of food retail:
- Convenience Stores
- Restaurants - Fast Casual (fast food, high calorie, low quality, less healthy)
- Restaurants - Full Service
- Grocery Stores - Small (may or may not provide fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, dairy, and other unprocessed healthy food options)
- Grocery Stores - Full Service
- Also included in this map is a depiction of the density of fast-casual restaurants representing “food swamps.” Areas with a high density of fast-casual food options and an absence of a full-service grocery store may indicate lack of access to healthy food options, and abnormally high access to unhealthy food options.
Additionally, the map shows 1-mile, 2-mile, 5-mile, 10-mile, and 20-mile service areas around full-service grocery stores. Within urban areas, living within 1-mile of a full-service grocery store is generally considered to provide reasonable access to a grocery store and healthy food options. In rural areas living within 10-miles of a full-service grocery store is generally considered to provide reasonable access to a grocery store and healthy food options. Areas outside the 1-mile urban and 10-mile rural service areas are generally considered to be food deserts. The other service areas are provided for context and to represent thresholds that were previously considered reasonable access (2-miles urban and 20-miles rural). The 5-mile service areas may be used to discuss research indicating that most grocery store customers use grocery stores around 5-miles of where they live, regardless of closer options or options further way that may be more culturally desirable.
GoFarm Opportunity Index, Market Matrix and Snap Matrix
GoFarm is a nonprofit organization with a mission to increase the supply of and access to affordable, healthy and local food in Colorado. In 2017, GoFarm worked with students at the Colorado School of Mines to develop a Market Matrix and SNAP Matrix to help identify potential locations for Community Support Agriculture (CSA) delivery. In 2018, Jefferson County Public Health helped update those matrices and developed an additional Opportunity Index that incorporated aspects of both with some additional factors to help identify areas throughout Jefferson County that could benefit from local food sources, such as CSAs.
High Needs Areas in Evergreen
Hunger Free Golden's Community Needs Assessment
Jefferson County Public Health and Five Points Geoplanning provided GIS and mapping support for the Golden Community Food Assessment, working with Sophie Oppenheimer, the City of Golden, and Hunger Free Golden. Demographic and location data was collected and mapped to visualize the following in and around Golden: at-risk (high-needs) areas, concentrations of SNAP (also known as food stamps) recipients, poverty, median household income, unemployment, local free/reduced price food options, conventional food retailers, public transportation routes, survey locations and respondent home areas. The purpose of this effort is to better understand the barriers to food access in the Golden community; to identify the resources and opportunities that exist to provide affordable and accessible healthy food to the Golden community; and to identify potential solutions for reducing hunger and food insecurity.
JCPH Children’s Menu Facilities
This map uses the same data layers described in the "Food Retail, Food Deserts, Food Swamps" map, with the additions of restaurants and facilities with children’s menus and what is offered on those menus.
Redlining and At-Risk Populations in Jefferson County
This map depicts ownership plats in Jefferson County that have a historical record of having ownership restrictions related to race or ethnicity (areas in black or gray) over a layer showing an At-Risk index based on 8 socioeconomic indicators (median household income, home ownership, median home value, poverty, educational attainment, unemployment, and job status). The purpose of this map is to research whether historical ownership restrictions based on race or ethnicity have a correlation with current at-risk or high needs areas in Jefferson County.