Course: Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study of Urban Food Environments

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Final Paper

» Overview

Through readings, discussions and field trips, this class has taken an in-depth look at many aspects of Baltimore's food systems. We have reviewed a variety of strategies currently being implemented in Baltimore and elsewhere to help improve food system healthfulness, equity, and/or environmental sustainability. And, we have engaged in service-learning projects with key organizations.

The purpose of this assignment is to enable you to summarize and critically reflect on your service-learning experience, and to integrate it with themes discussed in this course.  The group of people who volunteered at your site will get together to develop a list of themes or issues relevant to the site, or select one from the list below. While each person will select a different issue for the focus of your paper, it is to be expected that there will be overlap, sometimes significant.  Submit these topics by the eighth class session so that we can approve them or provide feedback.   Note that this paper is NOT a promotional piece, and we will not share it with those with whom you volunteered.

The papers should be approximately 10-12 pages double-spaced. Be sure to include all the listed and bulleted elements to organize your paper.  You must use section headers to highlight these items, as we use them as grading criteria; if we can’t find them, we can’t grade them. 

» Paper Components

  1. Introduction
  2. Short description of the organization and the activities you performed.
  3. Overview and structured critical consideration of the issue you are discussing.  Use literature and your own reflections to discuss each of the factors below (separate heading for each).  Non-peer reviewed sources may be used to supplement peer-reviewed sources. You can interpret these themes broadly or narrowly, but in some cases, some of these factors will not be relevant to your topic; if that happens, please keep the section heading and write n/a
    • Access
    • Demand
    • Cost
    • Stakeholder interests
    • Administrative issues
    • History
    • Power
  4. Discussion and conclusions, including a discussion of implications beyond Baltimore.

Possible Paper Topics by Service-Learning Site

Note that these topics are suggestions and may help generate ideas; while you may use them, they are not required topics for your paper.

Registering for SNAP/FSP
Organization of clinic and its relationship to MD Hunger Solutions
Getting clients on SNAP/FSP - process
How food security intertwines with other expressed needs
Issues of race/class
Policy gaps in SNAP

Supermarket Data Collection
What was observed in the different supermarkets – healthy
What was observed in different supermarkets – unhealthy
Access and community surrounding these supermarkets
Supermarket staff reactions

Baltimore Public Market Focus Groups
Observations in market
Different aspects of focus group discussion
Issues of race/class

Urban Gardener Interviews
Organization of cgrn program and relationships to gardeners
Reasons why gardeners left the program
Policy and other factors that could have helped keep gardens going/maintained engagement
Observations of gardens and the communities in which they were situated

Farm Club
Organization of farm club and relationship to Real Food Farm/Civic Works
Content of the curriculum
Participants – why they came, observations of their experiences