Descriptive Title: Food retailers that accept CalFresh (EBT) benefits

Geographic Unit of Analysis: Point

Proportion of retail food establishments that accept CalFresh and/or WIC benefits (2014)
Neighborhood# Establishments# Accepting EBT% Accepting EBT# Accepting WIC% Accepting WIC# Healthy retailers% Healthy accepting WIC/EBT# Unhealthy retailers% Unhealthy accepting WIC/EBT# Other retailers% Other accepting WIC/EBT
Bayview/Hunter's Point 32 15 47% 4 13% 11 18% 15 20% 6 167%
Bernal Heights 21 10 48% 1 5% 5 80% 10 30% 6 50%
Castro/Upper Market 28 9 32% 1 4% 7 43% 13 31% 8 25%
Chinatown 53 18 34% 1 2% 29 48% 9 11% 15 20%
Excelsior 16 12 75% 1 6% 4 100% 7 71% 5 60%
Financial District/South Beach 55 19 35% 1 2% 6 50% 35 29% 14 43%
Glen Park 8 5 63% 1 13% 3 100% 3 33% 2 50%
Golden Gate Park 1 0 0% 0 0% 1 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Haight Ashbury 9 4 44% 0 0% 2 50% 6 33% 1 100%
Hayes Valley 9 15 43% 0 0% 5 80% 26 35% 4 50%
Inner Richmond 24 7 29% 1 4% 9 44% 11 9% 4 50%
Inner Sunset 20 11 55% 0 0% 11 73% 8 25% 1 100%
Japantown 3 0 0% 0 0% 1 0% 2 0% 0 0%
Lakeshore 5 3 60% 0 0% 5 60% 0 0% 0 0%
Lincoln Park 0 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Lone Mountain/USF 12 5 42% 1 8% 4 75% 8 25% 0 0%
Marina 19 4 21% 1 5% 4 50% 13 0% 2 100%
McLaren Park 0 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Mission 82 45 55% 6 7% 19 84% 49 35% 14 86%
Mission Bay 3 1 33% 1 33% 2 50% 1 0% 0 0%
Nob Hill 32 6 19% 0 0% 8 25% 21 10% 3 67%
Noe Valley 15 3 20% 0 0% 4 50% 9 0% 2 50%
North Beach 20 6 30% 1 5% 3 67% 11 9% 6 50%
Oceanview/Merced/Ingleside 13 9 69% 1 8% 0 0% 11 73% 2 50%
Outer Mission 16 10 63% 2 13% 6 83% 10 50% 0 0%
Outer Richmond 29 7 24% 1 3% 10 30% 11 9% 8 38%
Pacific Heights 22 3 14% 0 0% 3 0% 15 7% 4 50%
Portola 9 7 78% 0 0% 5 60% 3 100% 1 100%
Potrero Hill 16 4 25% 0 0% 5 40% 10 20% 1 0%
Presidio 1 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 1 0% 0 0%
Presidio Heights 14 2 14% 0 0% 3 33% 7 0% 4 25%
Russian Hill 18 1 6% 0 0% 3 0% 14 0% 1 100%
San Francisco 801 317 40% 35 4% 214 56% 442 26% 145 56%
Seacliff 0 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
South of Market 30 13 43% 0 0% 5 60% 20 30% 5 80%
Sunset/Parkside 41 14 34% 1 2% 12 42% 22 18% 7 71%
Tenderloin 51 29 57% 5 10% 10 90% 36 47% 5 60%
Treasure Island 0 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Twin Peaks 0 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Visitacion Valley 6 2 33% 1 17% 0 0% 5 40% 1 0%
West of Twin Peaks 25 9 36% 2 8% 6 67% 12 8% 11 36%
Western Addition 17 9 53% 1 6% 3 100% 8 50% 2 100%

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

Different communities and populations have very different access to healthy and unhealthy foods. Increasingly, access to reliable transportation goes hand-in-hand with access to healthy foods. Food stamp recipients may lack access to larger stores, reducing the availability of nutritious food options. Underutilization of EBT is one likely reason why low-income households continue to suffer from insufficient and unhealthy food supplies.

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

When varied stores accept federal food benefits, this supports low-income individuals in accessing the food that they need to survive. The Mission, Financial District/South Beach, Chinatown, and Tenderloin have the highest number of food markets within their boundaries. Seacliff, Treasure Island, and Twin Peaks all have no food markets within their boundaries. The neighborhoods with the higest EBT acceptance include, Portola, Excelsior, and OMI. The neighborhoods with the highest WIC acceptance include Mission Bay, Visitacion Valley, Glen Park, and Bayview/Hunters Point ; however, there are no neighborhoods that have over 1/3rd of stores accepting WIC. In most neighborhoods, a higher percentage of stores that have been classified as "healthy" accept WIC and EBT, with the exception of Portola, OMI, Visitacion Valley, Pacific Heights, and Bayview/Hunters Point. Inthe case of OMI, Visitacion Valley, and Pacific Heights, all stores that accept federal benefits fall into the category of "unhealthy."

Methods

Percent of Food Establishments Accepting WIC/EBT is calculated by dividing the number of food establishments accepting WIC/EBT by the total number of Food Establishments in SF.

Number of healthy food retail establishments accepting EBT/WIC: Healthy food retail includes supermarkets, small groceries, produce stores, and farmers markets.

Percent of Healthy Retailers Accepting WIC/EBT is calculated by dividing healthy food retails (supermarkets, small groceries, produce stores and farmers markets) accepting EBT/WIC by the total number of healthy food retail.

Number of unhealthy food retail establishments accepting EBT include convenience stores.

Percent of unhealthy food retail establishments accepting EBT/WIC is calculated by dividing the number of unhealthy food retail establishments accepting EBT/WIC by the total number of unhealthy food retail.

Other EBT establishments are all other establishments not included in the healthy food retail or unhealthy retail categories, such as pharmacies, meat markets, and seafood markets.

Total EBT/WIC establishments are all retail food establishments accepting EBT/WIC in San Francisco.

Limitations

The Food Stamp Program has been called the "first line of defense" against hunger. It is a federally-mandated State-supervised, and county-operated government program designed to eliminate hunger in the United States. Since 2002, California began converting food stamp benefits from paper coupons to electronic benefit transfer (EBT). EBT represents the largest amount of federal funds earmarked for the nutrition of low income people. All individuals eligible for the program are entitled to participate in the program. Eligibility for EBT is determined by two things: household gross income and the amount of household resources. According to a 2007 San Francisco Food Bank Report, in San Franisco150,000 individuals live at or below 150% of the federal poverty line and live with a daily threat of hunger.

In 2007, a family of four falls below 150% of the federal poverty line if it earns less than $30,975 per year. However, with San Francisco’s high cost of living, where over 16% of renters are spending more than 50% of their income for housing many low-income families earn well above this figure but are still in need of food assistance.

To accept food stamp EBT cards, merchants must be authorized for food stamp acceptance by the USDA Food Stamp Program. For a store to be eligible to accept EBT the store must sell food for home preparation and consumption and meet at least one of the criteria : 1) offer for sale at least three different varieties of food in each of the following four staple food groups, with perishable foods in at least two categories, on a daily basis: bread and grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish OR 2) at least 50% of the total sales (e.g., food, non-food, services, etc.) at the store must be from the sale of eligible staple food. In 2004, the State approved Food Stamp regulations that allowed elderly, disabled, and homeless households to use food stamp benefits to buy prepared restaurant meals.

Data Source

All food establishements: Dun and Bradstreet, 2014 - via Network for a Healthy California - GIS Map Viewer: http://www.cnngis.org/ 

WIC/EBT acceptance: USDA, 2014 - via Network for a Healthy California - GIS Map Viewer: http://www.cnngis.org/ 

Detailed information regarding census data, geographic units of analysis, their definitions, and their boundaries can be found at the following links:

Interactive boundaries map

http://sfindicatorproject.org/resources/data_map_methods