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Understanding limited food access in Mohave County, Arizona: influencing factors, current realities, and potential solutions

Caldwell, Reilly Chase (2023) Understanding limited food access in Mohave County, Arizona: influencing factors, current realities, and potential solutions. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Food insecurity is prevalent across the United States, but it occurs at a particularly high level within Mohave County, Arizona. Mohave County is mostly rural; prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 20% of the population was food insecure. Anecdotal reports from food bank staff indicate that food insecurity has likely increased with the current state of the economy and the aftermath of the pandemic. The number of people receiving food boxes has certainly increased in recent years. However, little is known about how food box recipients perceive the assistance they receive, or how they think food access could be improved. This study represents an effort to understand these attitudes among an understudied population, namely rural food box recipients of geographically dispersed communities in Arizona. I interviewed fifteen food box recipients across the county in 2022-23, and conducted a mini-focus group, to understand their perspectives of food insecurity, thoughts on the causes of food insecurity, realities of being food insecure while living in a rural food desert, and what potential solutions recipients think could change those causes and realities. To get a more well-rounded understanding of how people are navigating food access in this county, I also interviewed food system professionals from government agencies and advocacy organizations. I then analyzed the interviews using a political ecology framework and separated my results by research question.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Arizona; food access; food bank; food box recipients; political ecology; rural; Mohave County (Ariz.); Food insecurity; Food deserts
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Sustainable Communities
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2023 16:25
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2023 16:25
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/6094

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