Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences
Nearly 12.3% of American households are food insecure. In Cache County, Utah, specifically, the rates of food insecurity are even higher (15%). Addressing the issue of food insecurity improves physical/mental health outcomes, childhood cognitive/physical development, family environments, and decreases healthcare costs. Evidence-based strategies to improve food security include increasing one’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables and improving self-efficacy. Community gardens are recognized as an initiative that improve participant’s levels of food security. In Utah, a number of community gardens exist, but none focus on food insecure individuals or include a curriculum of basic gardening and nutrition skills. Utah State University’s Food $ense and Master Gardener programs partnered together to create a community gardening program targeting low-income families in Cache Valley, Utah. The Create Farm Fresh Gardens program was developed with the aim of improving levels of food security through increased access to fresh vegetables and improved feelings of self-efficacy in regard to gardening and nutrition among participants. The Create Farm Fresh Gardens program was piloted in Cache Valley, Utah during the 2018 growing season and received supportive feedback from participants. The program will be implemented throughout the state of Utah during the 2019 growing season.
Hendrickson, Jackie, "Organization of a Community Garden Program through Utah State University Food $ense and Master Gardener Extension Programs for Low-Income Families in Logan, Utah" (2019). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 1356.
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