Research Article
Volume 16 Issue 10 - 2021
Results of a Baseline Community Food Assessment on the Mississippi Gulf Coast: The Value of a Two-Pronged Methodology
John P Bartkowski1*, Tennille Collins2, Caroline R Newkirk2, Jacinda B Roach2 and Janelle Kohler3
1Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
2Mississippi Public Health Institute, USA
3Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
*Corresponding Author: John P Bartkowski, Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.
Received: September 04, 2021; Published: September 28, 2021




Abstract

The Mississippi Public Health Institute (MSPHI) [1] received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (CDC REACH) [2] program to implement the Healthy Families, Mothers, and Babies initiative [3]. Among its other aims, the five-year project (2018 - 2023) uses a health equity lens to improve access to healthier foods for residents in Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A baseline community food assessment was completed in 2019 as an initial snapshot of community food access needs and resources. The assessment was administered with input from a community-based coalition and utilized a two-pronged methodology: (1) a self-reported community resident survey and (2) an organizational stakeholder survey. These complementary assessment instruments were administered prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that has presented formidable challenges to food pantries in Mississippi and throughout the U.S. The findings reported in this assessment remain relevant, and likely have even greater urgency, given the exacerbation of food insecurity due to the pandemic. The results reveal a pronounced need for expanded healthy food access in the catchment region as well as a general convergence in resident and stakeholder perceptions, with a few noteworthy exceptions. Given the holistic results offered by insights from both community residents and organizational stakeholders, the two-pronged assessment methodology utilized by the Mississippi REACH team emerges as a promising avenue for measuring healthy food access in other communities within and outside the U.S.

Keywords: Food Access; Healthy Foods; Food Insecurity; Community Health; Racial Disparities; Nutrition

References

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Citation: John P Bartkowski., et al. “Results of a Baseline Community Food Assessment on the Mississippi Gulf Coast: The Value of a Two-Pronged Methodology”. EC Nutrition 16.10 (2021): 17-49.

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