Why Institutions Matter: Root Causes of Food Insecurity

Site Objective
  • Exploring the social and institutional factors that shape the issue of food insecurity, such as corporate power and policy making

  • Understanding how actions on an individual level can be expanded to a macro global level, and how our personal choices contribute to wider issues

  • Examining how unequal access to food reinforces existing inequalities in society, along the lines of class and race

  • Exploring the various options available to feed a growing urban population.

  • Site Name: Why Institutions Matter: Root Causes of Food Insecurity in Austin, Texas

  • Site Topic: Food Insecurity, Food Desserts, Urban Gardening

  • Location: Austin, Texas 

  • Cost: $250 (Scholarship Available)

  • Dates: Saturday, December 14 - Saturday, December 21

  • Planning to take: 10 Participants

  • Community Partners: Austin-Travis County Food Policy Board, Central Texas Food Bank, Sustainable Food Center, Feeding Texas, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Farmshare Austin, Brighter Bites

  • Transportation: Flights and Rental Cars

  • Housing: Church or Airbnb

  • Site Leaders: Ashley Bertholf & Yun Yee Tan

*Logistics are tentative and subject to change. 

Site Leaders' Message

Our site is traveling to Austin, Texas to understand the root causes of food insecurity in urban areas! Austin, Texas consistently ranks as one of the most food insecure cities in the United States with 1 in 4 households considered food insecure. While Austin continues to grow its urban infrastructure and expand its industry, it lacks one of the most basic necessities - quality food networks and distribution methods, often marginalizing the most vulnerable community members as a result. Through the exploration of urban gardens, meeting with local community members, speaking to local policy planners, and volunteering with community partners that work in food distribution, education, urban gardening, and advocacy, we hope to gain a full picture of the issues and potential solutions to the topic of food insecurity.  

-- Ashley Bertholf and Yun Yee Tan

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