Food Access Activity

Lunar-ratedTopics and Competencies

Awareness of Structural Inequality, Knowledge of Identity-Specific Mechanisms, Social Class/Socioeconomic Status

Grade Level

Middle GradesHigh SchoolCollege/Adult

Subject Area Integration



Christy M. Byrd


Christy M. Byrd

Date Created/Most Recently Revised

May 2021




Appropriate for most settings

Type and Level of Engagement

Individual Work, Group Work, High Engagement


Learning Objectives

  • Understand environmental influences on individual behavior
  • Understand inequality based on social class
  • Explore inequality in access to healthy and affordable food


  • Internet access


  • Describe how low-income individuals may have limited access to healthy food regardless of their ability to pay for it. Some useful figures are available here:
  • As homework or an individual activity, ask students to look up where they grew up on the USDA Food Environment Atlas. The Atlas has information on access to healthy, affordable food and community health.
    • Ask students to identify:
      • Whether their neighborhood is low-income, has low access to grocery stores, or both
      • Has SNAP and WIC-authorized stores nearby
      • Has fast food restaurants, full-service restaurants, and a farmer’s market nearby
      • Obesity rate and availability of fitness and recreation activities
    • If students did not grow up in the United States, ask them to look at a map of where they grew up and identify the nearest grocery store.
  • Discuss in the large group:
    • What did you notice about where you grew up?
    • How did the presence/lack of access to affordable, healthy food influence you and your family?
    • What factors do you think contributed to the limited access to healthy food?
    • What factors mitigated or exacerbated access to healthy food for your family?
    • How do you think living in a food desert can impact children’s development?
    • What are some ways to mitigate negative impacts?



Have students identify a food desert in the local area and investigate resources for low-income individuals such as food banks, food assistance, and nutritional counseling.


Evidence of Effectiveness

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