Improving Food Access

Clark, Kirsten. 2014   Smoketown mobile mart first season winds down. The Courier Journal, November 12. (1 page)

This article provides information about the Thorobred Nutrition Kitchen, an initiative from Kentucky State University’s College of Agriculture.  In partnership with YouthBuild, the Thorobred Nutrition Kitchen provides fresh produce to the Smoketown neighborhood, a designated food desert. While supply will determine if the mobile market will remain open year round, the Thorobred Nutrition Kitchen intends to expand into additional stops including Beecher Terrace and Portland neighborhoods next season.


Community Farm Alliance. 2007 Bridging the Divide: Growing Self-Sufficiency in our Food Supply. Community Food Assessment: A Regional Approach for Food Systems in Louisville, Kentucky. West Louisville Food Group. (52 pages)

The Community Farm Alliance’s Community Food Assessment report functions in two ways. It is both a critical analysis of Louisville’s food economy, and it also provides a vision of future food security for residents of all local communities. The authors address the issue of food inequality in West Louisville and make suggestions for viable solutions to the problem through collaborative efforts and democratic decision-making within the community. The goal is to create a local food economy within this under-served community that responds to and capitalizes on community assets. The report posits that a local/ regional food economy will create a symbiotic relationship between urban residents and rural farmers by allowing Kentuckians to consume most of their food from local farms, thereby enabling Kentucky family farmers to make an adequate living. The authors of the document track the progress of a yearlong citizen-led initiative whose goals were to document survey findings, gather census data, compare prices of USDA food pyramid requirement foods, and map food access in West Louisville. The findings include the average population of Louisville’s West End food desert areas (77,000 people), the median income of the population (46.5% of the regional average), unemployment rates (over double the regional average), and poverty rates (42% or nearly three times the regional rate). The report concludes with a series of recommendations for local policy makers to help establish an equitable food community that boasts responsible citizens as the facilitators for sustainable change, such as mobile markets, community kitchens, and local food stores owned by local residents.


Emerson National Hunger Fellowship. Hunger-Free Community Report for
Community Farm Alliance. 2008 Corner Store Program Possibilities in Louisville. (18 pages)

Produced as a follow-up to the 2007 Community Farm Alliance’s Bridging the Divide: Growing Self-Sufficiency in our Food Supply report and analysis, Bowman’s investigative document introduces itself as part of the struggle to create a Locally Integrated Food Economy (L.I.F.E.) in Louisville. The Emerson Fellow addresses the unavailability of food in areas that suffer from “gaping holes” in terms of scarcity of healthy foods throughout local lower-income areas. Since many consumers are forced to shop for food at “convenience-style” stores, the author suggests that corner markets incorporate healthy alternatives into their selections. Bowman outlines the reasons the Louisville urban communities are in dire need of diversifying food options in corner or “convenience” stores. Bowman cites facts regarding the scarcity of supermarkets in urban areas, residents’ lack of or limited mobility/transportation options, quality of local urban markets, and price inflation. He indicates that to move the initiative past the pilot stages, the customer must be given greater “intellectual credit” and the systemic or “generic” approach must be abandoned in favor of a more store- or community-specific starting point. Bowman is confident that with practical and precise attention, the program will succeed in providing healthy, affordable options to those who most need them.


Currie, Donya. 2011 KY Program Brings Produce to Some Louisville Corner Stores. Nation’s Health 41(6):13. (1 page)

Journalist Donya Currie focuses on the Healthy In A Hurry Corner Store project, a CDC grant-funded initiative administered by the partnership between the YMCA of Greater Louisville and the Center for Health Equity. Currie describes how Healthy In A Hurry stores provide fresh produce to residents living in ‘food deserts’ throughout Louisville, and she notes a 2009 study conducted by the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health which reveals that 97% of Corner Store customers purchased more vegetables than they had previously, as a result of the increased availability of fresh foods. The Healthy Corner Store Initiative functions as part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement and assists storeowners with meeting various infrastructural and organizational needs, such as refrigeration units, advertisements, and produce managers. As of October 2014, seven Healthy In A Hurry stores operate in areas that have been deemed food insecure (located primarily in the West End of Louisville).


Downs, Jere. 2014  “Farmer Finds Niche Serving Louisville Food Deserts. The Courier Journal, March 10. (1,497 words)

Written by a Courier-Journal staff writer, this article focuses on Andre Barbour and the success he has achieved by selling his produce through Fresh Stops. Fresh Stops are places that provide fresh food to those who might otherwise not be able to access it and are mostly located in Louisville’s food deserts. Barbour’s farm is one of only 437 African-American owned farms in Kentucky. The article touches upon other local organizations related to community food security and locally-supported agriculture. The article emphasizes a topic that normally receives scant media coverage: an African-American farmer growing food which is then later sold to mostly African-American consumers. The information in this article is useful to anyone interested in survival strategies of independent farmers in modern society, or the relationships between local farmers and customers and the distribution of their produce.


Jones, Natasacha Ryan. 2010 Building Bonds and Promoting Healthy Choices: Farmers’ and Vendors’ Relationships with African American Consumers. Masters Thesis, Department of Communication, University of Louisville.  (53 pages).

Written by University of Louisville Master’s student Natasacha Jones, this thesis explores the relationships of farmers and vendors with African American consumers in Louisville’s farmers’ markets, Fresh Stops and Healthy in a Hurry Corner Stores. This interview-based study demonstrated the positive attitude most consumers held toward local, healthy food vendors and growers, and the sense of community established through these efforts. Readers will find the themes influencing consumer choices informative, and learn how building stable relationships between vendor and consumer can improve these choices and maintain access to local, healthy foods. The interpretation of interviewee responses offered by the author is enlightening, and the author provides suggestions for future researchers to explore the topic more.


Montgomery, Paxton and Tiffany Robinson and Brian Van Hoose. 2009 Healthy Corner Store Initiative: An Evaluation. University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. (29 pages)

Researchers from the UofL School of Public Health evaluated the Center for Health Equity’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative, which aims to make fresh foods accessible in ‘food deserts’ throughout Louisville. The researchers assessed the implementation of the initiative at the Dollar Plus store in Smoketown, a neighborhood where 50% of residents have yearly incomes below the poverty line. Of the 34 survey respondents who reported buying fresh food from Dollar Plus (and other stores), 94% claimed to purchase more fruit and 97 % reported purchasing more vegetables since the Dollar Plus initiated the sale of the produce. The researchers gave some recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the project. The first recommendation was to do a better job of informing neighborhood residents about the items for sale. The second was to more effectively train storeowners in the proper methods for produce management and storage. The study included the interview guide and survey in the appendix as tools for researchers to conduct more assessments of local food justice initiatives similar to the Health In A Hurry Corner Store project.


New Roots. ND. Internal Fresh Stops Manual. New Roots. (1-10). (10 pages)

The Internal Fresh Stops Manual was published by the New Roots organization in Louisville, Kentucky. This manual serves as an essential resource for people and organizations whose goal is to create a new Fresh Stop location, or to simply improve upon/update the way in which their current Fresh Stop operates. Specifics are given on how to find a farmer who will provide food for the Fresh Stop, as well as a timeline that can be given to the farmer to help them in their planning. Outside communication is not the only suggestion the manual gives. It also explains how to best operate the Fresh Stop in the days leading up to the produce pickup from farmers. The manual gives example worksheets of how New Roots chooses to organize their produce.


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