Food Desert Research Completed by Furman University

In May 2013, Furman University completed data collection for a study designed to determine the prevalence of food deserts in Greenville County, or areas that lack access to affordable, nutritious, culturally appropriate foods. This study was conducted by completing a Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS) during a site visit of all food establishments in the county. Thus, this study provides a more precise view of food deserts by using food availability, pricing, and quality to determine location of food deserts rather than using location as the only proxy for food desert location.

The information collected in this research will be important as Greenville County begins the process of devising a community action plan to address healthy eating. This data will also provide information for funders and policy leaders as community members advocate for necessary policy and environmental changes.

Feast or Famine, a documentary created in September 2013, further describes the NEMS research and provides information about food deserts in Greenville.

For more information about this study, please contact Melissa FairĀ (