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Community food security, Food security -- Oregon -- Portland, Oregon Food Bank


Food insecurity and access among communities of color is a major social and health issue. Limited studies rooted in Oregon exist to assist practitioners, policy makers, and scholars in understanding food insecurity and access among recent immigrants and refugees. Using a multiple qualitative methods approach, this study has three major aims: 1) to understand the food access issues, particularly barriers and opportunities, among refugees and immigrants; 2) to investigate the challenges and opportunities of immigrants and refugees in accessing systems that are culturally responsive to their needs and; and 3) to address the gaps of service delivery targeted for communities of color and explore potential opportunities for partnership and creating culturally responsive approaches. To address the first two aims, data was drawn from a photovoice with recorded dialog among youth-parent pairs and a “talking circle” with five refugee families. Additionally, to address the latter two aims, data was drawn from a service providers’ focus group, of five service providers in the Portland area and one individual interview with a city government worker. Content analyses were done with the photos and transcripts of the family dialogs and “talking circle,” service providers’ focus group, and the individual interview. Findings indicate emerging themes on the utilization of cultural resources in the community, stress and strain among refugee families, structural or organizational barriers or challenges to being culturally responsive, and opportunities for school and community-based partnerships. Implications and recommendations for culturally responsive approaches and ways to better serve communities of color pertaining to food security and access initiatives are provided.


A report to the Oregon Food Bank

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