Select Key Metrics on Food Access & Affordability

Food insecurity Food Insecurity

Percent of population who lack access to enough food for an active and healthy life.

Food environment Food Environment

Proximity to healthy, high-produce stores (e.g., supermarket); abundance of unhealthy, low-produce food stores in proximity (e.g., convenience stores).


Food Access & Insecurity 

As of 2019, almost ¼ of all children living in Philadelphia (24.2%) experience food insecurity, or lack of consistent access to enough food to live an active, healthy life. This is a 66% increase above the national average (14.6%).

In Philadelphia, access to healthy food varies widely by race and by neighborhood.

Food insecurity is associated with higher rates of self-reported poor health, diabetes, and hypertension and worse behavioral, emotional, and academic outcomes.

Reduced food access in Black and Hispanic Philadelphians

Source: Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) Household Health Survey | 2014/15. Note: Limited access to healthy foods defined as percentage of adults reporting that it is “difficult” or “very difficult” to find fruit and vegetables in their neighborhood


Food Environment

Areas with disproportionately low numbers of healthy, high-produce stores and an overabundance of unhealthy, low-produce stores are concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, primarily affecting non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic Philadelphians.

Map of Philly food environment

Source: Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Neighborhood Food Retail in Philadelphia Report | September 2019

To learn more, visit our page on neighborhood conditions.


A history of discriminatory social and economic policies and practices has led to the inequitable distribution of resources and concentration of socioeconomic disadvantage among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black communities in Philadelphia. 

The resulting racially concentrated poverty in Philadelphia neighborhoods further limits access to resources that are critical determinants of food insecurity such as education, economic opportunity, and healthy food.

Ongoing Efforts in the Philadelphia Community

The Food Trust is a nationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. Headquartered in Philadelphia, The Food Trust works with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers in the city and across the country to develop a comprehensive approach to improved food access that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food.

The Food Trust

The Mainline Health Food Insecurity Program at Paoli Hospital meets a vital need for patients who are discharged from the hospital but are at risk for readmission and sickness due to limited access to nutritious food. Through this program, at-risk patients who are discharged from the hospital are offered access to community resources, such as food banks and food benefits, as well as community gardens with free produce. Through this program, patients receive follow-up consultation to ensure they have access to healthy food sources.

Efforts listed here may be independent of Accelerate Health Equity. Check back to learn about a broader list of health equity efforts.