Cleveland Inventory of Food and Tobacco Retail (CIFTR)

CIFTR (previously known only as NEAP) is a place-based surveillance data collection project that intends to provide community partners and researchers with valuable data about the food and tobacco landscape of Cleveland. Using a standardized audit tool developed by the PRCHN, the project inventories all food and tobacco retailers within the city of Cleveland.  Currently, this involves approximately 1600 retail outlets. The project utilizes a 2-phase approach that includes ground-truthing to identify or confirm where food or tobacco is sold and a short-form audit to assess the availability of food and tobacco items. A longitudinal database has been created to document the food and tobacco retail environment of Cleveland from 2015-2023 (traditional CIFTR data was not collected in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

The goal of this project is to support the overall mission of better understanding the built environment of Cleveland and its relationship to downstream health effects and additionally to provide valuable data to both community partners and researchers to support their efforts in improving the health of Cleveland’s and reducing health disparities within the city.

Project Activities and Methods


Stores are first identified through a ground-truthing process in which data collectors drive each street within their assigned are and confirm or deny the presence of existing retail locations and note any new locations observed

Store Assessments/Audits:

Following ground-truthing, each location identified is assessed to confirm its business status (open, temporarily closed, or permanetly closed) and for the availability of specific food items as well as store characteristics using a two-page form.

Store Classification Data Brief

CIFTR Methodology User Guide


CIFTR Internship Opportunity

Every summer the PRCHN seeks students who are interested in gaining skills in field data collection, working in the community, data entry, and understanding food access within the city of Cleveland for an approximately 2-month summer internship experience (mid-June to mid-August).
CIFTR inters work as a team to canvas and assess all food retail locations within the city of Cleveland in order to contribute to an ongoing annual surveillance project which documents and classifies each food retail location based on products sold within the store.
Interns will pair up into teams of two to compleate a 2-phased approach to surveillance by first canvasing an entire neighborhood by driving each street to observe all locations selling food and second visiting each observed location to perform a short in-store assessment documenting the presence of select food and tobacco items. In addition to performing the assessments, interns will be responsible for completing data entry and data quality assurance to update a large longitudinal database. 

We seek students who are enthusiastic about going experience in community-based work and understand the built environment of all the diverse neighborhoods of Cleveland. having reliable transportation is a plus but not a requirement.

Hours and Payment:  

For the summer program, the intern will work 16-20 hours/week. Hourly wages are $15-$18.75/hour based on experience.

Apply through the PRCHN Training & Mentoring Application. For more information about the PRCHN Summer Internship Program, visit the PRCHN Internship page. If you have any specific questions, contact Dr. Elaine Borawski at

     For questions or more information about CIFTR, please contact Dr. Elaine Borawski at