The experience of food [in]security of collective kitchen participants in a changing food environment in Saskatoon, SK

by Terri Lynn Paulson

Institution: University of Saskatchewan
Year: 2015
Keywords: collective kitchens, food environments, food [in]security
Record ID: 2061374
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10388/ETD-2015-02-1944


The literature contains few examples examining how the opening of a grocery store in a food desert affects the experience of food security of those living in that food environment. Station 20 West (S20W) is a community enterprise centre that opened in Fall 2012 in Saskatoon’s inner city, significantly changing the foodscape of a former food desert. S20W includes the Good Food Junction grocery store (GFJ), community kitchen space, a café, community meeting space, and community organization, health region and university offices. This project investigates the experience of food security for participants in a collective kitchen (CK) at S20W. Using semi-participant observation and responsive interviews, data was collected using phenomenology to learn about participants’ food procurement experiences, their involvement in CKs, and their interaction with S20W organizations and other health-based organizations. This research illuminates the complexity of food [in]security; participants’ lived experiences of food [in]security were intertwined with their health and that of their families. Several participants came to the CK seeking socialization and friendship rather than increased food security. Most participants interviewed were not inner city residents, so their foodscapes were not changed by the opening of the GFJ. However, the S20W CK is a potential gateway to other organizations and services at S20W, and cross-promotion of programs, services, and the GFJ could increase their impact. Further research should explore the changes over time in the foodways of those who interact with S20W, to understand the longer-term effects of a food store opening in a former food desert.