Action-Research

Envisioning Food Security: Highlighting Neighborhood Resident Expertise through Community-Based Research

Authors:

Abstract

Food security in the U.S. presents a paradox: despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, 13.7 million U.S. households experienced food insecurity in 2019. El Paso County, Colorado, is no exception. Through a community-academic partnership, we formed a diverse research team that conducted a collaborative qualitative analysis to identify residents’ desires, knowledges, and visions towards more just and equitable food access in their communities. This analysis utilized 35 in-depth interviews with residents from three food-insecure neighborhoods in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 2019–2020. We find that residents expressed a holistic vision for community food security and endeavored to make this vision a reality by navigating various and intersecting food-access challenges. Our findings challenge previous literature on food choice that has identified low-income residents as either lacking an appropriate nutrition knowledge or lacking interest in pursuing a healthy diet. Residents held complex understandings of healthy food and food systems. Additionally, residents employed a range of strategies to gain access to the healthy foods they desired, attempting to confront various structural barriers to healthy food access. They held extensive knowledge about what their community needs to move closer to the visions they expressed. These insights will provide critical knowledge for successful food security interventions.

Keywords:

food securitycommunity-based researchfood sovereigntyColoradofood education
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 12
  • DOI: 10.33596/coll.91
  • Published on 18 Aug 2022
  • Peer Reviewed