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Food and Poverty CFP

2014 September 28
by Paul Mabrey


Edited Volume

Target Publication Date Summer 2016


Co-Editors:     Leslie Hossfeld, PhD

Professor and Chair Department of Sociology and Criminology

Executive Director Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems Program

University of North Carolina Wilmington


  1. Brooke Kelly, PhD

Associate Professor of Sociology

University of North Carolina Pembroke


Julia Waity, PhD

Assistant Professor of Sociology

University of North Carolina Wilmington


Tentative Volume Title:

Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor

Volume Overview:

The Great Recession catapulted the poor into the forefront of America’s conscious in ways not seen since the war on poverty began 50 years ago. With the increased focus on the poor came stories about the newly poor who were turning towards assistance for the first time in their lives, assistance they never thought they were going to need. There are also those in persistent poverty whose circumstances may have been exacerbated by the economic downturn. Food insecurity skyrocketed as did the number relying on federal food assistance programs like SNAP. At this same time there has been a growing focus on issues of obesity and access to healthy food. All the way to the White House the issue of healthy food is reverberating around the country. With the increased inequality and food insecurity as a result of the Great Recession and the increased interest in issues of obesity and access to healthy food, this book on food and poverty is especially timely. We address these critical issues described above in detail, as well as other issues including what can be done about the relationship between food and poverty. There is no book that has been published up to this time that tackles this essential, current, and until recently overlooked issue in such depth and breadth. Now that the nation’s focus is finally turning back to the poor and related issues like hunger, food insecurity, and obesity, this book will find a broad audience. This relevant book shines a light on food and poverty, and fills the niche for people who are seeking information on this vital topic, but up until this point have been unsuccessful in finding an authoritative text on this important issue.

Proposed Chapters

Chapters should be between 6500-7500 words (not including tables, charts, pictures, etc.). This book is intended to reach a broad audience. Because it is a reader, instructors will find the format useful for a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses including Social Problems, Sociology of Poverty, Sociology of Food, Introduction to Sociology, Public Sociology, Rural Sociology, Urban Sociology, Public Policy, and many others, including interdisciplinary courses. This will also inform scholars from related disciplines. This book will assemble cutting edge research from leading experts in the field, and will also be of use to those doing general research. We seek contributions from sociology, government, public policy, public health, community health and nutrition.

Chapter Submission Timeline

Please provide a short prospectus for your proposed chapter (approximately 1000 words), including what section your chapter fits into, along with a short bio/CV (no more than 3 pages), and email these documents to no later than October 30, 2014. If you have questions about this project, please contact Dr. Jill Waity,, 910-962-3660.  We will inform you if your proposal is accepted byDecember 15, 2014.  Anticipated publication date is June 2016.

Tentative Volume outline: Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor


Introduction – Food and Poverty in the United States

Section I: Food and Poverty: Conceptualization and Operationalization

This section examines reasons for food insecurity and the lack of access to food. First, we begin with a broad overview of what food insecurity is, and the current situation in the United States. Next, we describe in detail issues with access to food, including the concept of a food desert, food sovereignty and alternative food movements.

  • Defining food insecurity
  • Food insecurity as a measure of poverty
  • Defining food access
  • Defining food deserts
  • What is food sovereignty
  • Alternative Food Movements (AFM) – critique

Section II: Food and Poverty: Problems and Consequences

This section describes the impact that food insecurity and hunger have, especially on the poor. We start by addressing structural inequalities in the U.S. food system. Next, we address problems with food access. Finally, we detail the negative health impacts of food insecurity and hunger, addressing obesity and its relationship with poverty and food insecurity.

  • Structural Inequalities in the US Food System

o   Race, Class and Gender and Food System Inequalities

o   Labor and Food Production

  • Food Access

o   Access to food assistance

o   Rural Poverty and Food Access

o   Urban Poverty and Food Access

o   Food Deserts

  • Health Outcomes

o   General Health Outcomes

o   Childhood Health Outcomes

o   Obesity and Nutrition

o   Environmental Outcomes

Section III: Food and Poverty: Policy and Praxis

This section provides the reader with a hopeful look ahead at some solutions to the social problems related to food and poverty detailed earlier in the book. These solutions include policy proposals and examples of successful community responses to food and poverty through community-initiated projects such as community gardens, food sovereignty programs, and programs targeting food access and supplemental nutrition assistance benefits.

  • Civic engagement – policy leaders and community mobilization around poverty and food
  • Sustainable agriculture projects
  • Inclusive Alternative Food Movements
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