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      Framing Food Access: Do Community Gardens Inadvertently Reproduce Inequality?

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      Health Education & Behavior
      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          Background

          Alternative food programs have been proposed as solutions to food insecurity and diet-related health issues. However, some of the most popular programs—farmers markets and community-supported agriculture—overwhelmingly serve White and upper-middle-class individuals, exacerbating food security and health disparities. One explanation for the mismatch is the way in which alternative food programs are framed: Language used to encourage participation may reflect priorities of upper-middle-class and White populations who create and run these programs while lacking resonance with food-insecure populations. This literature, however, lacks consideration of how lower-cost, more participatory programs—community gardens—are framed. We therefore explore the framing of community gardens through a quantitative content analysis of the descriptions, missions, and goals provided by community garden managers across Minnesota ( N = 411).

          Results

          Six frames were consistently present in the community garden statements: greater good, community orientation, healthy food access, food donation, self-empowerment, and symbolic food labels. Greater good and community orientation were significantly more likely to be used than any other frames.

          Conclusions

          Taken together, our findings suggest that community gardens may be welcoming toward a diversity of participants but still have room to improve the inclusivity of their frames. The common use of a community orientation suggests the unique ability of community gardens among alternative food programs to benefit Black, Latino, and working-class populations. However, the most common frame observed was “greater good,” suggesting one mechanism through which community gardens, like other types of alternative food programs, may be reproducing inequality through alienation of food-insecure populations.

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          Most cited references6

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          Handbook of parametric and non-parametric statistical procedure

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            Handbook of Inter‐Rater Reliability: the Definitive Guide to Measuring the Extent of Agreement among Raters

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              City bountiful: a century of community gardening in America.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Health Education & Behavior
                Health Educ Behav
                SAGE Publications
                1090-1981
                1552-6127
                April 2021
                August 18 2020
                April 2021
                : 48
                : 2
                : 160-168
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of California, Merced, CA, USA
                Article
                10.1177/1090198120950617
                1f0a830a-4019-4648-a316-b6d435f8cd4b
                © 2021

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license

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