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.

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 […]

Updated Opinion on Loyola’s Chicago Walmart Report – February 2011

MG was retained by Walmart to develop a Professional Opinion on a report entitled “The Impact of an Urban Walmart Store on Area Businesses: An interim-evaluation of one Chicago neighborhood’s experience” by authors Julie L. Davis, David F. Merriman, Lucia Samayoa, Brian Flanagan, Ron Baiman, and Joe Persky of the Center for Urban Research and Learning of Loyola University Chicago. […]

Open Letter to the White House on USDA Food Stamp Retailers — January 2011

There are two urgent problems with the current state of the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: 1) standards are too low and 2) many retailers are not in compliance with even those low standards. Read more about this issue in this concise briefing to the White House.

Chicago Foreclosures and the Food Desert – November 2010

This special mapping report was commissioned by the Chicago Sun Times. How do food desert communities compare to “hot markets” and the rest of the city? Find out by downloading these easy-to-understand maps.

Chicago Food Desert Update – August 2010

Maps released August 2010 and full briefing released October 6th 2010 as part of a sold-out TED event focused on food and health. TED stands for technology, entertainment, and design and is the now world-famous speaker series promoting ideas worth spreading. Past speakers have included Al Gore and Bill Gates. Watch for a video of Mari Gallagher’s TED speech presented […]

Examining The Impact of Food Deserts & Food Imbalance On Public Health In Birmingham, Alabama – August 2010

In Birmingham, over 88,000 people live on blocks where mainstream grocers are distant (we call these areas Food Deserts) or where grocers are distant and unhealthy food is readily available (we call this condition Food Imbalance).  In these areas, it is generally difficult to buy a first-rate apple, tomato, or green bean. Many venues instead specialize in candy, soda, chips, […]

TECHNICAL APPENDIX TO Examining The Impact of Food Deserts & Food Imbalance On Public Health In Birmingham, Alabama – August 2010

This document provides regression results from the full study.

EXECUTIVE BROCHURE TO Examining The Impact of Food Deserts & Food Imbalance On Public Health In Birmingham, Alabama – August 2010

This short fold-over brochure very briefly summarizes findings from the study. Please note that the document should be printed back-to-back. The first panel you will see is the back page, the second is the cover, and the final two are the inside pages.

From Food Desert to Food Oasis: Blueprint for Change in Chicago – August 2010

Since our 2006 breakthrough study on Chicago Food Deserts, there has been a flurry of news on both the problem and potential solutions. Community groups, city officials, policy makers, and industry leaders have stepped up to take action. There is not one single cause of Food Deserts and not one single solution. Everyone can do something. But what would make […]

Food Desert & Food Balance Community Fact Sheet – June 2010

Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group and Save-A-Lot Food Stores have joined forces to raise awareness of the plight of millions of families in the United States who live in food deserts — large geographic areas with very few, if any, grocery stores. The Food Desert & Food Balance Community Fact Sheet, authored by Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting and […]

The Peapod & Neighbor Capital Healthy Families Project: Special Briefing For Chicago Lawn Community Forum – June 2010

As First Lady and former Peapod customer Michelle Obama tells us, we all need to “move” on the important issue of reducing obesity and expanding healthy food for children. Our combined “movement” through the Healthy Families Project includes many exciting new actions that we believe will support health and wellness among vulnerable children in all of Chicago and specifically in […]

Addendum to Ticket To Ride – April 2010

This is an Addendum to a report entitled “Senior Ticket to Ride: A Needs Assessment for ITNChicago.” Its purpose is to assess the interests and needs of homebound seniors, particularly immigrant and non-immigrant Latinos living in ITN’s target Zip Codes. The work was done in a participatory fashion with ITNChicago and its key board leader, City of Chicago representative Joyce […]

The Peapod Neighbor Capital Healthy Families Project Analysis – March 2010

In autumn of 2009, Peapod and Neighbor Capital began to strategize on solutions for Chicago’s Food Desert communities. Later that year, Peapod retained Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group to complement and enhance the impact of their Healthy Families collaboration through robust empirical analysis. We conducted a block-level study to identify the greatest at-risk families in the Food Desert who […]

Ticket to Ride: A Needs Assessment for ITNChicago – January 2010

The MG team was retained to conduct a needs assessment for the newly created Independent Transportation Network of Chicago (ITNChicago), which started in Maine to encourage seniors who can no longer drive safely to trade in their cars and receive rides instead from volunteers. The success of the initiative led to the development of independent but affiliated branches in other […]

Updated Opinion on Loyola’s Chicago Wal-Mart Report – January 2010

MG was retained by Wal-Mart to develop a Professional Opinion on a report entitled The Impact of an Urban Wal-Mart Store on Area Businesses: An interim-evaluation of one Chicago neighborhood’s experience by authors Julie L. Davis, David F. Merriman, Lucia Samayoa, Brian Flanagan, Ron Baiman, and Joe Persky of the Center for Urban Research and Learning of Loyola University Chicago. […]

New Day in the Garden: A Food Desert & Food Balance Analysis in Savannah, Georgia – October 2009

Established in 1733, Savannah is known as America’s first planned city. Early in its history, farmers discovered that the climate and soil were favorable to the cultivation of cotton, rice, and lush backyard gardens full of great varieties of nutrient-rich produce. But similar to what has happened in other places across America, local residents over time became more and more […]

Boston Food Desert Forum Survey Report – September 2009

September is National Food Desert Awareness Month! To highlight issues relevant to food deserts we are releasing responses from a spring 2009 food desert survey conducted in concert with a forum held last spring at MIT: From Food Desert to Food Oasis. The report has been sponsored and produced by the following partners: MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, […]

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 […]