Community-Campus Collaborations for Food Justice

Strategy, Successes and Challenges at a Teaching-Focused College




Community-Campus Engagement, Community Food Systems, Food Justice, Food System Education, Service-Learning, Community-Student Engagement, Food Dignity


Community-campus engagement in higher edu­cation provides educational experiences for students to grapple with complex, real-world problems, including the lack of equitable access to healthy food for all. In this reflective essay, three faculty members of a teaching-focused college report and reflect on the benefits and challenges of community-campus engagement through a food justice education action research project called Food Dignity, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Achievements included developing a curricular approach, preparing students for com­munity partnerships and community-based research, strengthening institutional commitment to community-campus engagement, and establish­ing community and institutional networks. Out­comes include that student participants revised their values and attitudes about the food system and their ability to change it. We discuss challenges, including academic supremacy and unequal power relations, and offer recommendations for future community-campus food justice initiatives.


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Author Biographies

Alicia Swords, Ithaca College

Associate Professor, Sociology; Department of Sociology

Amy Frith, Ithaca College

Associate Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education

Julia Lapp, Ithaca College

Associate Professor, Nutrition; Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education



How to Cite

Swords, A., Frith, A., & Lapp, J. (2018). Community-Campus Collaborations for Food Justice: Strategy, Successes and Challenges at a Teaching-Focused College. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(A), 261–277.



Food Dignity Further Reflections