Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Anthony Fleming


Limited access to affordable and nutritious foods is a growing problem in the United States, leading to a rise in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease as well as poor academic performance. With this has come the rise of urban food deserts, specific geographic areas with limited access to affordable, healthy, and nutritious foods within a 1-mile radius, which impacts low-income and minority communities at a greater rate than the rest of US society. Single mothers represent the largest demographic impacted by urban food deserts yet are the least represented in research. The purpose of this narrative study, using the human rights framework, was to gain a more in-depth understanding of how urban food deserts impact the lives of single mothers who reside there. Data were collected via a series of open-ended interview questions with 19 participants, who were identified through purposeful sampling. The participants included 12 single mothers, one local community leader, and 6 local food program leaders. The interviews were then transcribed and coded to identify themes using qualitative analysis software. The results confirmed the difficulties single mothers faced accessing food and emphasized the need for services provided by community-based programs. The findings may be used by local community leaders to help formulate partnerships as well as develop additional community-based programs to help alleviate food insecurity. With effective policies and appropriate partnerships, communities can improve the overall health and wellbeing of underserved and inadequately nourished populations, thereby affecting positive social change.

Included in

Public Policy Commons