This annotation was created by Maria Frank. 

Field Guides to Food

Review of Community Food Security Literature and Future Directions for Addressing Community Food Insecurity in North Minneapolis (summary & metadata)


The purpose of this report was to provide scientific data to the Northside Food Project (NFP) community organization. The research goals were threefold: to research existing literature on food insecurity in low-income communities, to examine demographic and food insecurity-related data in North Minneapolis, and to explore the need and means for a community food security assessment in North Minneapolis. The concept of food insecurity is central to this work. Food insecurity is linked to overweight and obesity, which in turn are strongly related to major chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Research indicates that low-income communities and communities of color are especially likely to lack adequate access to healthy foods; supermarkets and farmers markets are less common in these communities whereas corner stores and convenience stores are more common. North Minneapolis exhibits many of the symptoms of a food-insecure community.

Quick Facts:
  • Author: Gillian Lawrence
  • Published: July 2007, CURA, Univ of Minnesota
  • Intended audience: Northside Food Project, academics, public health / nutrition professionals
  • Goals / purpose: To provide data to the Northside Food Project (NFP) by conducting a literature review on food insecurity in low-income communities, and by researching demographic and food insecurity-related data and the need for a community food security assessment in North Minneapolis.
  • Methods - How would someone know they could trust this?
    • Synthesizes many scholarly works on food insecurity, as well as census
      data specific to N Mpls. Cites examples of other cities' efforts to
      address food insecurity.
  • From 1 (not very well)–4 (very well), how well does this source of food knowledge:
    • Engage an adequate range of perspectives and types of knowledge? (2)
    • Translate between diverse perspectives? (2)
    • Address conflicts across perspectives? (1)
    • Generate useful information for those affected by the issues addressed? (2)
    • Include an adequate range of relevant stakeholders throughout the knowledge-creation process? (3)
    • Help users of this knowledge source learn from each other? (3)
    • Allow users of this knowledge source to put what they learn into action? (2)
    • Consider the larger context as necessary? (3)
  • What is useful, meaningful, surprising, or a problem? Questions?
    • Positive: many scholarly sources & concrete examples of projects w/ similar goals to NFP, TOC hyperlinked within the PDF
    • Challenges: not explicitly actionable (more a collection of information than something truly useable); traditional assoc. of food deserts & health inequity with CSAs / farmers' markets / etc. as the solution, doesn't bring in other perspectives such as policy or food industry (nothing from the bodegas' or supermarkets' point of view)
  • What do you think could or should be done with this source of knowledge?
    • Couple this with resources that look at potential policy changes or changes within the corner stores etc., include "next steps" (suggests a Community Food Security Assessment - then what? what else should be done with this info?)
    • Other ideas?
  • What has already been done?
  • How should we keep track of what this knowledge does as it circulates in the world?
  • What connections would you like to see made to other information / people / organizations?

See for this and other resources from CURA.


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