Public perceptions of local food environments in shrinking cities: Weighing solutions to community food insecurity in Camden, New Jersey

Christopher Tirri, Devon Nealer, Katrina McCarthy, Mahbubur Meenar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Historically, the shrinking city of Camden, New Jersey has experienced a wide range of issues related to social, environmental, and nutritional injustice. This study focuses on two of the city's most at-risk neighborhoods, Waterfront South and Bergen Square, and examines residents’ perceptions of their local food environments, food insecurity, and proposed solutions, including a potential online grocery delivery service. Many participants across our four methods indicated significant levels of food insecurity, often citing their neighborhoods’ dependence on unhealthy corner stores, lack of full-service grocery retailers, and lack of connection to local food initiatives in other neighborhoods. Responses from our focus group participants generated three dominant themes for potential solutions: (i) attracting new and improving existing grocery retailers in the study area; (ii) increasing education about and participation in local food production; and (iii) fostering collaboration among the city's diverse stakeholders to develop unified food security initiatives. Focus group participants and stakeholder interviewees expressed mixed opinions about a new online grocery delivery service, with some emphasizing its potential convenience and a majority expressing concerns about product quality and equitable access to the service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100703
JournalSocial Sciences and Humanities Open
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Decision Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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