Matching Items (9)

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COVID-19 Pandemic One Year Later: Food Insecurity and Assistance in Arizona

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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and the resulting closures of schools, businesses, and restaurants led to a massive economic disruption in Arizona. The unemployment rate at

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and the resulting closures of schools, businesses, and restaurants led to a massive economic disruption in Arizona. The unemployment rate at its peak reached 14.2% (April 2020) - a level even higher than during the great recession of 2008. High unemployment rates, coupled with a breakdown of local and national food supply chains, led to a remarkable increase in food insecurity rates among Arizona households. More than a year later, as vaccines became widely available and restrictions were lifted, schools and business began to reopen, and most activities slowly returned to pre-pandemic standards. The effects of the pandemic on food insecurity and food-related behaviors, however, might have long-lasting effects. This brief describes levels of food insecurity, food assistance program participation, job disruption, and food related behaviors among 814 households in Arizona, in the 12 months preceding the pandemic (March 2019 – March 2020) and approximately one year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic ( January 2021 –April 2021). Data collection took place between April and May 2021.

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  • 2021-08

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Community Development, Sustainability, and Food Access; A Case Study of Community Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona

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This honors thesis examines community gardens from throughout Phoenix, Arizona. It shows that community gardens have the potential to both support and hinder sustainability efforts, encourage community development, and increase

This honors thesis examines community gardens from throughout Phoenix, Arizona. It shows that community gardens have the potential to both support and hinder sustainability efforts, encourage community development, and increase food access. By measuring the temperature at various community gardens throughout Phoenix, AZ, community gardens were shown to minimize local effects of the urban heat island. Because they use water to survive and Phoenix, AZ is in a desert, this contributes to a depleting water supply. Interviews of gardeners from community gardens throughout Phoenix depicted that community gardens can provide sites for community development as well as promoting food access.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Understanding Food Access and Food Choices among Low-Income Inner-City Youth: A Photovoice Project

Description

Photovoice is a participatory action research method that was used to investigate the food access and food choices of youth in low-income, high-obesity communities of urban Phoenix. To better understand

Photovoice is a participatory action research method that was used to investigate the food access and food choices of youth in low-income, high-obesity communities of urban Phoenix. To better understand the challenges adolescents face when making the conscious decision to eat healthy, impactful methods of photovoice, surveys and focus groups were used. This study investigated food access and food choice perceptions of adolescents aged 10-14 years old that were enrolled in ASU-Mayo Clinic Obesity Solutions, FitPHX Kids Energy Zones. Overall, the findings of this thesis present many interwoven barriers preventing low-income inner-city youth from eating healthy. Results from the study suggest that the four main barriers to healthy eating are the abundant access to unhealthy food, misunderstanding of a healthy diet, intrapersonal sentiments toward unhealthy food choices and emotional conflicts toward eating. Together those barriers create a complex environment conducive to unhealthy eating.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Setting a resilient urban table: planning for community food systems

Description

Research indicates that projected increases in global urban populations are not adequately addressed by current food production and planning. In the U.S., insufficient access to food, or the inability to

Research indicates that projected increases in global urban populations are not adequately addressed by current food production and planning. In the U.S., insufficient access to food, or the inability to access enough food for an active, healthy life affects nearly 15% of the population. In the face of these challenges, how are urban planners and other food system professionals planning for more resilient food systems? The purpose of this qualitative case study is to understand the planning and policy resources and food system approaches that might have the ability to strengthen food systems, and ultimately, urban resiliency. It proposes that by understanding food system planning in this context, planning approaches can be developed to strengthen urban food systems. The study uses the conceptual framework of urban planning for food, new community food systems, urban resiliency, and the theory of Panarchy as a model for urban planning and creation of new community food systems. Panarchy theory proposes that entrenched, non-diverse systems can change and adapt, and this study proposes that some U.S. cities are doing just that by planning for new community food systems. It studied 16 U.S. cities considered to be leaders in sustainability practices, and conducted semi-structured interviews with professionals in three of those cities: Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA. The study found that these cities are using innovative methods in food system work, with professionals from many different departments and disciplines bringing interdisciplinary approaches to food planning and policy. Supported by strong executive leadership, these cities are creating progressive urban agriculture zoning policies and other food system initiatives, and using innovative educational programs and events to engage citizens at all socio-economic levels. Food system departments are relatively new, plans and policies among the cities are not consistent, and they are faced with limited resources to adequately track food system-related data. However they are still moving forward with programming to increase food access and improve their food systems. Food-system resiliency is recognized as an important goal, but cities are in varying stages of development for resiliency planning.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Food deserts: identifying and overcoming issues in the supply chain

Description

Research related to food deserts, areas with limited access to healthy and affordable food options, has focused primarily on issues of healthy food access, food quality and pricing, dietary outcomes,

Research related to food deserts, areas with limited access to healthy and affordable food options, has focused primarily on issues of healthy food access, food quality and pricing, dietary outcomes, and increased risk for chronic diseases among residents. However, upstream challenges that might play a major role in the creation and perpetuation of food deserts, namely problems in the supply chain, have been less considered. In this qualitative study, researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with local produce supply chain representatives to understand their perspectives on the barriers to, and potential solutions for, supplying affordable produce to underserved areas in Phoenix, AZ. Through industry and academic experts, six representatives of the supply chain were identified and recruited to take part in one-hour interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded into categories using a general inductive approach. Using the qualitative analysis software NVIVO to assist in data analysis, themes and subthemes emerged. Results suggested that considerable barriers exist among the representatives for supplying fresh, affordable produce in Phoenix-area food deserts, including minimum delivery requirements beyond the needs of the average small store, a desire to work with high-volume customers due to transportation and production costs, and the higher price point of produce for both store owners and consumers. Conversely, opportunities were identified that could be important in overcoming such barriers, including, tax or economic incentives that would make distribution into food deserts financially viable, infrastructural support for the safe handling and storage of fresh foods at existing retail outlets, and the development of novel distribution mechanisms for producers such as mobile markets and food hubs. Future research is needed to determine if these findings are representative of a larger, more diverse sample of Arizona produce supply chain representatives.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Assessing the Causes of Food Insecurity among College Students

Description

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of what food insecurity among college students. Qualitative research regarding food insecurity on college campuses has been growing

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of what food insecurity among college students. Qualitative research regarding food insecurity on college campuses has been growing as we gain a better understanding of how prevalent this issue is and its broad impact on students. However, to our knowledge there are only a handful of studies that examined the student and university staff experience using mixed methods. Qualitative data is needed to gain a deeper understanding of the student experience. OBJECTIVE: To gain deeper insights about students’ food insecurity experiences from students themselves and the university staff members who work with them. This insight is necessary to shift university’s current policies and approach to helping students experiencing food insecurity and removing the stigma of the “starving student” experience. METHODS: Surveys and interviews were used to collect data from students to gain an understanding of their current living situations and understand their personal experiences accessing food. University staff completed surveys focused on understanding staff’s experiences with student food insecurity as well as their attitudes and beliefs about students who experience hunger. RESULTS: The current study found that the financial burden of attending college along with student’s food literacy level can contribute to student’s food insecurity. Students identified barriers to food access, discussed their perceptions of their food experience, and also discussed who they lean on for support when struggling with food. Student’s previous life experiences, food literacy, and social support systems all impact the student food experience. University staff identified similar barriers that they perceive students experience when struggling with hunger and also indicated that they have received little to no training or instruction on how to support students experiencing food insecurity. CONCLUSION: These findings can be used as a building block for developing interventions and the implementation of new resources to help minimize food insecurity on college campuses.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Food security and financial success in Central Arizona farmers' markets: presences, absences, lived experience, and governance

Description

Farmers' markets are a growing trend both in Arizona and the broader U.S., as many recognize them as desirable alternatives to the conventional food system. As icons of sustainability, farmers'

Farmers' markets are a growing trend both in Arizona and the broader U.S., as many recognize them as desirable alternatives to the conventional food system. As icons of sustainability, farmers' markets are touted as providing many environmental, social, and economic benefits, but evidence is mounting that local food systems primarily serve the urban elite, with relatively few low-income or minority customers. However, the economic needs of the market and its vendors often conflict with those of consumers. While consumers require affordable food, farmers need to make a profit. How farmers' markets are designed and governed can significantly influence the extent to which they can meet these needs. However, very little research explores farmers' market design and governance, much less its capacity to influence financial success and participation for underprivileged consumers. The present study examined this research gap by addressing the following research question: How can farmers' markets be institutionally designed to increase the participation of underprivileged consumers while maintaining a financially viable market for local farmers? Through a comparative case study of six markets, this research explored the extent to which farmers' markets in Central Arizona currently serve the needs of farmer-vendors and underprivileged consumers. The findings suggest that while the markets serve as a substantial source of income for some vendors, participation by low-income and minority consumers remains low, and that much of this appears to be due to cultural barriers to access. Management structures, site characteristics, market layout, community programs, and staffing policies are key institutional design features, and the study explores how these can be leveraged to better meet the needs of the diverse participants while improving the markets' financial success.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Community food resource assessment in Central City South, Phoenix: a study of community capacity building

Description

Many studies have shown that access to healthy food in the US is unevenly distributed and that supermarkets and other fresh food retailers are less likely to be located in

Many studies have shown that access to healthy food in the US is unevenly distributed and that supermarkets and other fresh food retailers are less likely to be located in low-income minority communities, where convenience and dollar stores are more prevalent grocery options. I formed a partnership with Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, a local community development organization engaged in Central City South, Phoenix, to enhance the community's capacity to meet its community health goals by improving access to healthy food. I used a community-based participatory approach that blended qualitative and quantitative elements to accommodate collaboration between both academic and non-academic partners. Utilizing stakeholder interviews, Nutrition Environment Measures Surveys (NEMS), and mapping to analyze the community's food resources, research revealed that the community lacks adequate access to affordable, nutritious food. Community food stores (n=14) scored an average of 10.9 out of a possible 54 points using the NEMS scoring protocol. The community food assessment is an essential step in improving access to healthy food for CCS residents and provides a baseline for tracking progress to improve residents' food access. Recommendations were drafted by the research partnership to equip and empower the community with strategic, community-specific interventions based on the research findings.

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Date Created
  • 2011

Increasing Socio-economic Resilience of Utuado Farmers through Agritourism

Description

Utuado, Puerto Rico, is a region that has witnessed many natural hazards, most notably Hurricane Maria that struck the island in 2017 and irrevocably altered its landscape to this day

Utuado, Puerto Rico, is a region that has witnessed many natural hazards, most notably Hurricane Maria that struck the island in 2017 and irrevocably altered its landscape to this day (Holladay et al., 2019; Ortiz, 2020; Benach et al., 2019). In combination with layers of pre-existing vulnerability, such as socio-economic vulnerability and food insecurity, this has made for a disaster situation (Klein, 2018; Benach et al., 2019; Garriga-López, 2019). However, this disaster has also opened up a window for citizens to rise up and self-organize for the revitalization of their shared communities and spaces; in the agricultural sector, this has manifested as a drive towards a stronger regional economy and the building of food sovereignty through agritourism (Holladay et al., 2019).

In contribution to a larger Southern SARE project, my Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS) Culminating Experience (CE) project aims to support this local movement through a collaboration with key local farmers to identify local farm assets through the reconstruction of solution strategies (Forrest & Wiek, 2014) and the designing of an educational program for the adaptation and scaling of identified sustainability solutions to other regional farms (Fraser & Galinsky, 2010). The intended outcomes for this project include (1) the building of community resilience and livelihood opportunity; (2) the increasing of awareness and knowledge of agritourism best practices; (3) the dissemination of knowledge on practices to increase farm- and visitor-readiness; (4) and the strengthening and interconnection of the regional economy. Based on the array of exemplary farms and enterprises that I have conducted research on and engaged with through this project, I have witnessed the potential that the widespread dissemination of agritourism best practices offers for the progressive building up of the regional economy in Utuado, Puerto Rico.

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-04-28