We created the Food Inequality Project to study food access and health on Long Island. The purpose of the study is to generate new knowledge that can inform programs and policies to increase access to nutritious food and improve health among the region’s disadvantaged populations and communities.
The report – “The Truth and The Facts: Food Inequality on Long Island“- represents the first comprehensive look at the social, economic, and emotional dimensions of food poverty. While we have some quantitative data on the numbers of people who are food insecure, we know very little about what it looks and feels like to be food poor, particularly in a region so well known for its affluence. And while we are able to map the location of food retailers across the area, we have little firsthand information about how people actually negotiate their food environments:
These are some of the questions that require answers in order to think through new strategies not only to feed but to empower Long Island residents.
To answer these questions, the report focuses on one Suffolk County community–the Mastics and Shirley–which has been devastated by the Great Recession. The report is driven by the perspectives of 35 research participants whose narratives highlight the manner in which economic insecurity and community issues intersect to affect experiences with food. It is also punctuated with nearly 30 telling photographs taken by participants to show what it looks and feels like to be food poor.
Methods for this project involve:
The project was made possible by iSoRCE funding from Cathy Nelkin Miller and Patrick Smalley.
As part of their coursework, and in partnership with iSoRCE, students in the Adelphi University course Communications 450: Documentary Production were asked to produce, film, and edit short videos concerning food and nutrition on Long Island. The videos are intended to increase public awareness about food justice issues.
(Currently in development)
This ambitious project examines and analyzes the state of Long Island’s food system based on a range of indicators, including agricultural production, food consumption, food distribution, environmental protection, food safety and emergency preparedness, agricultural employment and wages, consumer food access, and community health. This assessment will serve as the basis for community discussions about the potential for action in policy and program development and the subsequent publication of recommendations for a safe, fair, and economically and environmentally viable food system.
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