Quantitative Survey Results

Based on the results of the 382 surveys we collected, we were able to determine a certain degree of demographic information about the Lincoln Park/West End neighborhood of Duluth. For example, as Figure 18 shows, most of our respondents live in the most densely populated parts of the neighborhood along the Third Street corridor, and we received no responses from residents inhabiting the industrial area along the St. Louis River. Respondents tended to be older than the average Lincoln Park/West End resident (see Figure 19). In addition, our respondents were overwhelmingly female and had slightly higher income and educational achievement than the average Lincoln Park/West End resident (see Figures 19, 20 and 21). Finally, our sample also indicated that 6.5% of respondents use WIC and 17.5% use EBT.

1. Age
  • Under 19                                               0.3%
  • 20-24                                                     4.6%
  • 25-34                                                   15.2%
  • 35-44                                                   13.3%
  • 45-54                                                   19.3%
  • 55-64                                                   23.4%
  • 65-74                                                   14.9%
  • 75-84                                                     7.1%
  • 85+                                                        1.9%

2. Gender
  • Female                                                 74.0%
  • Male                                                    24.7%

3. Race
  • White                                                   88.6%
  • Black or African American                    3.8%
  • Native American or Alaskan Native      7.3%
  • Asian                                                     0.3%
  • Hawaiian or Pacific Islander                  0.0%
  • Other____________________

4. What is the highest level of education you have completed?
  • Less than high school                            3.7%
  • High school                                         25.4%
  • Some college                                       23.0%
  • Vocational/technical                            14.7%
  • College                                                            24.9%
  • Masters degree                                       7.2%
  • Doctorate                                               1.1%

5. What is the closest intersection to your house?
_________________& ____________________

6. Do you or anyone in your household receive WIC?
  • Yes                                                        6.5%
  • No                                                       93.5%

7. Do you or anyone in your household receive EBT?
  • Yes                                                      17.5%
  • No                                                       82.5%

8. Marital Status
  • Married                                                41.0%
  • Single                                                   32.5%
  • Widower                                              14.6%
  • In a long term relationship                     11.9%

9. Household Income
  • $0 - $25,000                                         44.6%
  • $25,000 - $50,000                                 32.6%
  • $50,000 - $75,000                                 15.1%
  • $75,000 - $100,000                                 5.8%
  • $100,000 – up                                        1.8%

10. How many people do you have in your household (including yourself)?
  • (average) 2.4

11. How many children under the age of 18 do you have in your household?
  • (average) 0.7

Grocery Shopping in Lincoln Park/West End
Although the Lincoln Park/West End does not have a grocery store, neighborhood residents are still able to shop for groceries. They accomplish this by “out-shopping” in a variety of different neighborhoods. Our survey asked respondents where they shop for groceries and asked them to choose from a list of area grocery outlets. Our survey allowed respondents to choose more than one option, so the final numbers do not add up to 100%. As Figure 23 indicates, half of respondents shop at the West Duluth Super One; about one-fifth of respondents shop at Cub Foods in the Miller Hill Mall area; a little more than eight percent shop at the Super One (Mall area), and a little over five percent shop at Lincoln Park/West End convenience stores. Interestingly, almost every shopping outlet in the Twin Ports area was mentioned in our survey, including Whole Foods Co-op, Save-A-Lot in West Duluth, Walmart in Superior, and Sam’s Club in the Mall area. The diversity of different venues that Lincoln Park/West End residents utilize to do their shopping indicates that residents make sophisticated decisions when choosing where to shop for food. They stop for groceries on the way home from work, drive to distant stores for lower prices, and choose to shop at stores that meet specific dietary requirements. Survey results also indicate that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to grocery shopping problems in the Lincoln Park/West Duluth neighborhood because people will continue to shop at the stores that best fulfill their grocery-shopping needs.

Figure 24: Household Income and Store Choice

Super One (West Duluth)
Cub Foods
Convenience stores (Lincoln Park)
Whole Foods Co-op
$25,000 - $50,000
$50,001 - $75,000
$75,001 - $100,000

Our survey found that the type of grocery stores residents shopped at varied based on income. For example, Figure 24 shows the top six stores that households shop at, sorted by income. Of special note is that while 12.4% of households earning less than $25,000 per year shop at convenience stores in Lincoln Park/West End, none of the households earning more than $75,000 per year shop at those stores. In addition, while 87.6% of households earning less than $25,000 per year shop at the West Duluth Super One, only 50% of households earning more than $100,000 shop at this store. Similarly, while 9% of households earning less than $25,000 per year shopped at the discount grocer Save-A-Lot, no households making over $100,000 per year shopped there. The clearest link between income and shopping is evident with the Whole Foods Co-op numbers, which, according to our survey, draws in a full 33.3% of the richest households in the neighborhood and only 3.4% of the neighborhood’s lowest income group.

12. Where do you usually buy your groceries? Please check all that apply.
  • Cub                                                      18.2%
  • Super One in West Duluth                   50.0%
  • Convenience Stores in Lincoln Park      5.3%
  • Other (please specify):
o   Midtown Grocery                      1.2%
o   Mount Royal                              0.5%
o   Sam’s Club                                1.9%
o   Save-A-Lot                                3.4%
o   Super One (Mall area)                8.6%
o   Super One (Plaza)                      0.9%
o   Target (mall area)                       0.3%
o   Walgreens                                  0.7%
o   Walmart (Superior)                    2.7%
o   Whole Foods Co-op                   4.1%

13. How do you usually get to the store to buy groceries?  
o   Walk                                                  0.5%
o   Bike                                                   0.3%
o   Bus                                                     3.2%
o   Drive                                                  82.1%
o   By being driven to the stores              10.7%
o   Taxi                                                    2.7%
o   Other (please specify)                                     0.5%

14. How do you usually get home from the store after buying groceries?

o   Walk                                                  0.5%
o   Bike                                                   0.3%
o   Bus                                                     1.6%
o   Drive                                                  82.0%
o   By being driven to the stores              10.5%
o   Taxi                                                    4.6%
o   Other (please specify)                                     0.5%

Fast Food, Dining and Cooking in Lincoln Park/West End                                

15. How often per week do you cook food at home for yourself or your family?
16. How often per week do you order food to be delivered to your home? 
17. How often per week do you eat at sit down restaurants like Pizza Luce or T-Bonz?
18. How often per week do you eat at fast food restaurants (such as McDonalds or Quiznos)?
19. How often per week do you buy groceries?
20. How many vehicles do you have in your household?
The survey also asked questions about how often respondents cooked food in their homes, ate out, ordered food for delivery, and shopped for groceries. In general, the survey results indicate that residents cook the vast majority of meals in Lincoln Park/West End in their homes with 85% of respondents reporting that they cook at home more than four times per week. A large majority of respondents (79%) do not order food for delivery. Another common way that people have meals in Lincoln Park/West End is by eating out, with 44% of respondents reporting that they have eaten at a sit-down restaurant in the last week, and about half having gone to a fast food restaurant. As Figure 28 indicates, while there are no grocery stores in Lincoln Park/West End there are a lot of other dining options, and about half of area residents across all income groups eat out on a weekly basis.
Our survey also found that where residents chose to shop closely related to how many cars were in their household. For example, 29% of those households who had no car shopped at neighborhood convenience stores, while only 7% of the households with at least one car shopped at these stores. Traveling outside of the neighborhood for groceries is a hurdle that all neighborhood residents faced. Our survey found that most residents (82%) relied on cars to travel to the grocery store and the remaining percentages arrived at stores by: getting a ride with someone else (11%); taking a taxi (3%); taking the bus (3%); and walking/biking (1%). In terms of getting home from the grocery store, the picture is very similar, with the exception of changes in taxi and bus usage with only 2% of residents reporting that they take the bus home from the store and a slightly larger 5% take a taxi home.
Residents of Lincoln Park/West End tend to shop for groceries often. Survey results indicated that 67% of respondents shop for food once per week, 20% shop twice per week, 9% shop three times per week, and 2% shop for groceries four or more times per week. We also found that those who shop more often tended to be the neighborhood’s poorer residents. For example, while only 59% of EBT users shop for groceries once per week, upwards of 9% shop four or more times per week.
As Figure 25 shows, city bus routes serve the Lincoln Park/West End neighborhood well. Existing bus lines take residents to grocery stores located in the western and northern areas of Duluth.

Figure 26 plots our survey respondents to city bus routes. Residents living north of 3rd Street and west of bus routes have access to some grocery stores. For example, one bus line takes residents who live near Superior Street or 3rd Street to the West Duluth Super One, and another bus line takes residents who live higher up in the neighborhood over the hill to the Miller Hill Mall area grocery stores.

There is not a great amount of flexibility for residents living along these lines, however. For example, residents living near 3rd Street will experience difficulties reaching the mall area grocery stores. Only some community members live near both sets of bus lines. As evidenced by the variety of stores at which Lincoln Park/West End residents shop, this lack of flexible transportation options could be a real problem for some residents. In addition, the steep hills in Lincoln Park/West End make walking even a short distance to the bus very difficult, especially with young children in tow.

21. What is the biggest problem you have getting groceries in Lincoln Park?
  • Financial difficulty                                            14.1%
  • Getting to the grocery store                                4.0%
  • Getting home from the grocery store                   4.6%
  • Local stores have inadequate selection              37.6%
  • Other (please specify)                                      39.8%
Non-traditional Food Sources
While the food deserts literature tends to focus mostly on shopping outlets and fast food/restaurant meals, this survey also tried to capture information about the extent to which Lincoln Park/West End residents eat food from non-traditional sources, such as food shelves, hunting, fishing and gardening. Because each of these sources offers discounted foods, either by residents growing their food themselves or by acquiring it through donations, and are tailored to meet the needs of neighborhood residents, we felt they serve an important, though often overlooked, role in provisioning the community.
The survey found that a significant number of area residents use food shelves to provision their households with 27% of respondents rating the food shelf as being at least “somewhat important” and 10.5% describing it as “very important” to provisioning their households. These numbers increase when we examine only those residents who use EBT, with 74% of Lincoln Park/West End EBT users describing the food shelf as “somewhat important” to their diet. Similarly, while about 20% of residents residing in households without children consider the food shelf an important part of their diet, an astounding 39% of households with children ranked the food shelf as being at least “somewhat important” to their diet. 
Lincoln Park/West End residents also use food-buying programs, such as SHARE and Ruby’s Pantry. About 12% of respondents ranked SHARE and 10% described Ruby’s Pantry as being at least “somewhat important” in their efforts to access food. SHARE has one distribution site in West Duluth and Ruby’s Pantry, currently located in the Central Hillside neighborhood, opened a new site in the Morgan Park neighborhood.
In addition, residents also defined other self-provisioning systems, like hunting, fishing, and gardening, as being important to their accessing food. For 25% of respondents, meat from hunting was at least “somewhat important,” while 24% ranked fishing as being “somewhat important” and 48% described gardening as “somewhat important” for provisioning their households. 

The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) provides discounted food to families with children whose household income falls below a certain income threshold, defined based on size of household and income sources. About 12% of households in Lincoln Park/West End rank MFIP as “somewhat important” for them when accessing food. If we look only at households with children, we can see that a full 28% of these households ranked MFIP as being at least “somewhat important.” Thus, MFIP plays a vital role in feeding about a quarter of this neighborhood’s households with children.

22. Over the course of the last year, how important have the following food sources been to your diet?

Not Important
Somewhat Important
Very Important
Food shelf (like CHUM or Salvation Army)
SHARE food buying club
Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
Ruby’s Food Pantry

23. Over the course of the last year, how important have the following food sources been to your diet?

Not Important
Somewhat Important
Very Important
Meat From hunting
Fish that you caught
Vegetables from a garden

24. What would you like to change about food access in Lincoln Park/West End?
-- Please write on the back of the letter or on any other piece of paper you have. Thank You!