Introducing an innovative design to examine human-environment dynamics of food deserts responding to COVID-19

  • Chyi-Lyi (Kathleen) Liang Center for Environmental Farming Systems and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Lyubov Kurkalova North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8873-3908
  • Leila Hashemi Beni North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Timothy Mulrooney North Carolina Central University
  • Manoj Jha North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1156-2992
  • Haoran Miao North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Gregory Monty North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Keywords: Food Insecurity, Food Desert, COVID-19, Pandemic, Food Systems, Integrated Design

Abstract

Food desert communities face persistent barriers in accessing affordable fresh and healthy foods, par­tic­ularly for the underserved and limited-resourced minority population. This research brief proposes an integrated design concept examining human-environment dynamics of food deserts to identify strategies that would provide effective planning to prevent, prepare for, or respond to disruptive events such as natural disasters or pandemics in the future. The North Carolina example we describe identifies the potential overlapping areas between food deserts and number of COVID-19 cases to demonstrate how an unpredictable event could exacerbate public health in food desert communi­ties to a greater extent than in communities with better food access, availability, and accessibility. The improved understanding of food systems could help in addressing unprecedented challenges such as those due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Author Biographies

Chyi-Lyi (Kathleen) Liang, Center for Environmental Farming Systems and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Director, Center for Environ­mental Farming Systems; Kellogg Distinguished Professor, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Lyubov Kurkalova, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Professor

Leila Hashemi Beni, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Assistant Professor

Timothy Mulrooney, North Carolina Central University

Associate Professor

Manoj Jha, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Associate Professor

Haoran Miao, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Gregory Monty, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Director of Center for Energy Research and Technology

Logo for COVID-19's Impact on the Food System
Published
2021-03-23
How to Cite
Liang, C.-L., Kurkalova, L., Hashemi Beni, L., Mulrooney, T., Jha, M., Miao, H., & Monty, G. (2021). Introducing an innovative design to examine human-environment dynamics of food deserts responding to COVID-19. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(2), 123–133. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.037
Section
Papers on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Food System