Editors Note: We are thrilled to welcome Emily to our summer intern program! We can tell already that she has a go-getters style and lots of knowledge of our field of work. Make sure you stop in to say hi to her on Saturday mornings in Portsmouth, and that you add your thoughts to some of her excellent blog questions!
Hi Seacoast Community! My name is Emily Bonenfant, and I will be an intern at Seacoast Eat Local this summer. I am a rising junior at Tulane University in New Orleans, but am originally from Hampton, NH. The topic of food justice was brought to my attention at the start of my freshman year at Tulane, with a club called Food for Thought and Action. Through my involvement with this club, I quickly learned that New Orleans is the largest food desert in the United States. For those who don’t know, a food desert is an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. This was a really eye-opening time for me, because I have been blessed with access to nutritious food my entire life. Since learning about this, I have spent the following two years volunteering at urban farms in the city and raising awareness about this issue on campus.
After having developed this passion at school, I knew that I wanted to continue similar work when I returned home for the summer. Learning more about the food climate in my home region will be a great addition to my knowledge of this topic. There are a few specific questions that I have about the seacoast food climate, which I will report back on throughout my time working with SEL. I have listed them below:
Is there data on the level food accessibility for citizens of the seacoast region? If so, how is this measured and categorized?
What organizations in the seacoast region (aside from SEL) are most active in the work of increasing food accessibility?
What are the most popular local foods grown in this area? Of these, which have the most successful crop this season, and which are the most vitamin and nutrient-rich?
How is the Portsmouth farmers market (and other seacoast markets) advertised to local populations?
Which populations are most prone to food insecurity in this area?
Have a great day,