Examining Disparities in Food Access and Enhancing Food Security in Michigan
Food security has emerged as a major global and national problem. Nationwide more than 50 million Americans live in food insecure households. Consequently, researchers, policymakers, activists and civic leaders are spearheading a variety of strategies to reduce food insecurity. This project, funded for a five-year term by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is comprised of research, education, and extension activities aimed at understanding disparities in food access in Michigan and effective interventions to enhance food security. We are examining the relationship between demographic characteristics and the distribution of food outlets in 18 small and medium-sized cities across the state. We are investigating factors influencing the presence or absence of food deserts and oases, and mechanisms for enhancing participation in local food initiatives. We are also gathering perspectives from a wide range of participants in the food system, from farmers to retailers, community groups to individual Michigan residents, and policymakers to food justice advocates, among others. Ultimately, through our research activities, we are attempting to paint a more nuanced picture of food access and food insecurity across the state of Michigan. We believe that by hearing from multiple perspectives, we will develop richer understanding of the problem, as well as more effective solutions.
This project is a collaborative research effort across six universities including the University of Michigan, University of Michigan–Flint, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, Lake Superior State University, and University of Wisconsin–Madison. Additionally, each university has partnered with a community organization to work on a local urban agriculture intervention. Those partners include: Growing Hope, edible flint, Allen Neighborhood Center, Baxter Community Center, City of Sault Ste. Marie, and the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.
Please visit the following link for a full abstract of the project: Examining Disparities in Food Access and Enhancing Food Security in Michigan
This project has been funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).