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IU researchers: food insecurity in southern Indiana linked to transportation

Aldi

The study cited transportation as a major barrier, along with other financial, physical and behavioral challenges. (WFIU/WTIU News)

A study from a group of Indiana University researchers reveals transportation is a key barrier contributing to rural food insecurity.

The researchers looked specifically at Greene, Lawrence, Orange and Crawford counties. They found food insecurity in rural communities is subtly different from urban areas.

The group found residents in rural southern Indiana were more likely to face financial, transportation, and physical challenges when attempting to access quality food. 

Julia Valliant is was one of the study authors and a scientist with IU’s sustainable food systems science group. She says the research reveals a distinct urban rural divide.

“It was really people needing to patch together their access to food and that being tougher in rural communities than in other places because of the transportation issue," she said.

Valliant says more research is needed to explore how Medicaid and traditional insurance can help create a more sufficient safety net in these communities.  

While rural residents tend to band together, there are fewer resources than in urban or suburban settings. 

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