University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Research Project:

Food Access and Rural Grocery Stores (part of the regional Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast through Regional Food Systems project)

Researcher Linda Berlin

Over 7 million Northeast citizens are food insecure. Low-income communities are also disproportionately affected by lack of access to healthy, affordable foods. Families in thos communities face many barriers to achieving food security. Challenges to food security for everyone in the region also come from climate change, farmland loss, and sourcing most of our food from outside the region.

EFSNE is a USDA-funded Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) project that seeks to determine whether greater reliance on regionally produced food could improve food access in low-income communities, while also benefiting farmers, food supply chain firms and others in the food system. As an integrated project, it includes research, outreach and education.

Teams are focusing on low-income community sites within the Northeast (defined as 12 states from Maine to West Virginia and the District of Columbia). The research focal point is a full-diet market basket of eight foods that are or can be produced or processed in the Northeast states in significant quantities. These are milk, bread, ground beef, potatoes, apples, cabbage, canned peaches and frozen broccoli.

UVM's role has been Dr. Berlin's participation in the Consumption and Evaluation Teams. She joins colleagues from Columbia University, Cornell University, Delaware State University, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Penn State University, Tufts University, USDA Agricultural Research Service, USDA Economic Research service and West Virginia State University.

Publications are forthcoming in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, the Journal of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems; also pending are additional works for a broad audience.

Thanks to University Communications for this February 2013 article about the project. More information about this important multi-state research will be shared soon.

For more information:

Contact Linda Berlin,
University of Vermont
(802) 656-5459

Last modified April 17 2017 03:39 PM