Public Reports

Most of our projects do not result in publicly accessible reports, but here are a few that we can share. Our written content, graphics and illustrations are copyrighted. If you would like to use our work in a way other than viewing or citing it, please inquire about licensing permission.


COVID-19 EMPLOYMENT DISRUPTION & MISSING MEAL ANALYSIS UPDATE at a Granular Level Across Florida  Feeding Florida commissioned Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group (MG) – a firm with expertise in hunger, the economy, and statistical models – to conduct a COVID-19 employment disruption analysis at small geographic units across Florida as a pathway to understand and address the additional need for […]


FLORIDA COUNTY MAPS & MAP GUIDE: COVID-19 EMPLOYMENT DISRUPTION & MISSING MEALS MG created HIGH RESOLUTION maps for every Florida county. Maps detail employment disruption, missing meals resulting from COVID-19, total pre-and-post pandemic missing meals, and other conditions.  Maps are large in file size, and each viewer’s display quality depends on the PDF software used for viewing. Older PDF software might […]

THE MEAL DEFICIT METRIC PROJECT: Measuring Missing Meals at a Granular Level Across Florida

TEDxWindyCity — Mari Gallagher — Food Deserts

Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago

“Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago” demonstrates that where you live makes a real difference to where you can buy food and, indirectly, the quality of that food. The report explains exactly how opportunities and risks vary by neighborhood. But it doesn’t stop there. It also shows important differences between neighborhoods in the “balance” of […]

Food Access, Community Health, & Economic Prosperity Across Florida

Commissioner Adam Putnam of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has made these issues multi-year priorities, and all of us at MG are thrilled to support their innovative efforts, which include online data and mapping tools. Additionally, our 2014 analysis of the relationship between food access and diet-related deaths across Florida is now available to the public. Learn […]

Food, Health, and School Children’s Performance in Rural Iowa

MG had the pleasure of working closely with community leaders on a project sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation and the United Way of Wapello County to assess – block-by-block – the impact of the food environment on community health and on school children’s academic performance. We found statistically significant associations between distances to fringe and mainstream retailers and […]

Food Access and Hunger as Healthcare Issues – ProMedica

The MG team has been supporting ProMedica, a locally managed, nonprofit healthcare organization serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Our work includes a block-by-block food-and-health study of Toledo, Ohio, to help ProMedica and its Ebeid Institute for Population Health identify a high-impact location for its nonprofit grocery store. We also have assisted ProMedica with its business plan and community engagement […]

Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation – Boston

MG supported this cutting edge community development corporation with a feasibility assessment of Bartlett Place, an innovative mixed-use residential and retail redevelopment project located on an approximately 8.59-acre brownfield site in Roxbury, MA. The project is moving along! Learn more.

Harvest Co-op Markets – Boston

MG regularly assists Harvest Co-op – a community-owned grocery store – with feasibility assessments for multiple sites in the larger Boston area. Harvest is committed to building a vibrant community and healthier world by selling natural and organic food and by educating and supporting its diverse membership base. Learn more.

Food Desert and Food Balance Fact Sheet

In some communities, healthy food is hard to find. Learn how the lack of access to mainstream food options might be linked to obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases and conditions. Get the facts in our Community Fact Sheet!

Green Grocer Plans for Robins, Illinois

MG has been supporting DM Group Associates with a feasibility assessment for an energy efficient supermarket and a shopping center in Robbins, IL. The project would bring 200 jobs and fresh groceries to one of the poorest communities in Illinois. Stay tuned for more information.

Grass-fed Beef Survey – WellSpring Management

MG conducted an extensive survey across 6 states on opinions and practices concerning the consumption of meat, particularly grass-fed beef. The project was part of a larger effort of WellSpring Management, which focuses on locally grown foods and overall environmental practices that protect and sustain the planet.

Food & Health In Washington DC

In many areas, the D.C. food environment presents a serious health and wellness challenge to the city’s most vulnerable residents. This was demonstrated through a block-level study assessing the impact of the local D.C. food environment on public health by Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group. The study found that 88% of the over 520 food retailers are unhealthy “fringe” […]

Response to “Studies Question Pairing of Food Deserts and Obesity” – New York Times, April 18, 2012, pp. A1 and A3

The April 18th Times article on recent studies examining the link between “food deserts” and childhood obesity leaves the impression that food access does not matter in combating this epidemic. Our firm popularized the term “food desert” in the U.S. with the release of Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago (2006). We found strong relationships […]

The Chicago 2011 Food Desert Drilldown, 5th Anniversary Edition – October 2011

The full Drilldown provides never-before-released data and tables detailing the Food Desert population, as well as maps featuring community names, street identifiers, and aldermanic ward numbers. It also includes SNAP redemption figures and a message from Mari Gallagher that addresses the need to enforce current SNAP standards and raise them in the next Farm Bill. You might find a few […]

Food & Health in Hamilton County, Ohio – June 2011

Food & Health is a technical report on conditions in Hamilton County, a 407 square mile area in Ohio that includes Cincinnati and 47 additional political jurisdictions. We quantified food access block-by-block and assessed its statistical link to diet-related health outcomes. The report provides data that can help formulate action plans and prioritize strategies. Details include the impact of the […]

Co-op Grocer Keynote, San Diego – now available

Mari Gallagher was the keynote for the 55th annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association’s national conference, recently held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, California. Her speech to 450 grocery co-op leaders from around the country was described as inspiring, informative, lively, and moving. Missed the keynote? Watch the video.

2011 Philabundance Hunger Symposium Keynote, Philadelphia – now available

Listen to Mari, Philabundance Executive Director Bill Clark, and urban farmer Jade Walker on Marty Moss-Coane’s WHYY Radio show.

The Chicago Food Desert Progress Report – June 2011

Our original 2006 study, which included a statistical analysis linking the Food Desert to more diet-related death, was updated in 2008 (released in 2009), 2010, and now in 2011 (the document available below). The updates track the Food Desert boundaries and related demographic data. From 2010 to 2011, the Chicago Food Desert contracted from about 64 to 55 square miles […]

Chicago Identifies 6 Priority Sites for Grocers – September 2008

This is a must-read analysis for anyone interested in how to use neutral data, information, and statistical methods to prioritize government incentives, resources and energy.  Learn how we worked with the City of Chicago to help commercial planners prioritize 6 key sites for grocery stores based on need, public health impact, market strategy, and other factors. In our past work […]

The National Center for Public Research (NCPR) Declares September National Food Desert Awareness Month

September is the month to showcase what you, your community, your school, your church, or your business are doing to promote solutions that improve food access, wellness, and quality of life. Read the full announcement along with other new MG downloads on how consumers tend to rely on the food stores to which they have the most access, even if […]

Richmond, Virginia, Children’s Diabetes Risk Assessment Launched – April 2008

Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) affects more than 20 million U.S. residents and is the most common form of the disease.  However, because diabetes exhibits few, if any, symptoms until its advanced stages, millions more are unaware that they are in danger of developing the disease. When blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not yet high […]

The Detroit Community Storyboard © Series on Food Deserts: Why it Matters and What Communities Can Do – March 10, 2008

The reproduction of MG analysis into these 10 Community Storyboards © was made possible by the Kellogg Foundation, the Skillman Foundation, the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and the Good Neighborhoods Initiative. Do you live in a Food Desert? While the focus of these Storyboards is on Detroit, each provides concrete examples of what you and your own […]

The Potential Impacts of a Wal-Mart Supercenter [At 83rd & Stewart in Chicago, Illinois] on Grocer Agglomeration, Food Deserts, Food Balance, and Public Health – February 2008

This 46-page Professional Opinion quantifies the block-by-block food access impact that the proposed Wal-Mart would have if it opens at that site. It also quantifies the impact of nearby grocers that have recently opened or closed. Retail agglomeration and new neighborhood market frameworks and measures are introduced, such as the Snowball Index and Snowball Effect, which explain why retail attracts […]

The Courier-Journal Food Access Briefing for Louisville, Kentucky – November 2007

This briefing examines food access for roughly 10,000 blocks in Central Louisville.

Louisville Storyboard

If you don’t have time to read the full Louisville report, view this one-page storyboard and map.

Chicago Sun Times Briefing on USDA Food Stamp Liquor Stores – November 2007

This briefing examines USDA Food Stamp retailers named as “medium grocer” or another label in the government data that are likely instead to be liquor stores. Full briefing available on November 9, 2007.

Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in DETROIT – June 19, 2007

“This report ought to serve as a wake-up call, and my guess is that it will.  It documents a serious problem clearly and forcefully.  It is much harder now to avoid the conclusion that action to address it in Detroit warrants a high priority.” These are the opening words of Thomas Kingsley of the Urban Institute who wrote the foreword […]

Detroit Project Technical Appendix – June 19, 2007

Our robust data set and scientific tools make clear that we have a big public health problem on our hands. But what does science tell us about our ability to band together and reverse course, or to create something entirely new? Often, our response to public health and other socioeconomic problems is a new law or policy to steer resources […]