Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Thesis


Current research suggests that socioeconomic makeup of geographic areas within a city has implications on location and accessibility of food retail stores. Disadvantaged areas with relatively poor access to healthy and affordable food are what literature has identified as “food deserts”. The purpose of this research is to explore the relationships between geographic areas with relatively low socioeconomic characteristics and food stores within the greater Des Moines, Iowa area. By way of survey, grocery and convenience stores are measured on their healthy food quality, advertisements, and other factors. GIS techniques are then used to measure accessibility to stores by low cost means of transportation (walking and the public bus system). The results produced from this study indicate that there are areas of concern within the city of Des Moines in regards to food accessibility. Also, there were strong negative correlations between distance from stores and walking and bussing access to stores. Aside from bussing, there were little to no correlations between socioeconomic distress and levels of store accessibility.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Geography

First Advisor

Tim Strauss, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 72 pages)



File Format