Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Molly Kerby (Director), Ann Ferrell, Jay Gabbard

Degree Program

Department of Diversity & Community Studies

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This thesis focuses on the idea that food insecurity and access are real issues in the lives of many Americans. Simply stated, food insecurity is when a person does not have enough food to eat or does now know where his/her next meal is coming from. More importantly when looking at food insecurity is the realization that healthy, local food access is even more prevalent an issue – with increasingly more under-resourced individuals and families being food insecure and unhealthy at the same time. This thesis includes a literature review on diet and nutrition in the United States, a chapter on methodology, history of Bowling Green, Kentucky, where this case study is focused, the benefits of shopping at farmers’ markets, perceived barriers to shopping at those farmers’ markets, and suggestions for overcoming these barriers. Local, sustainable food is the hope for a future of planet earth. It is what nourishes and sustains lives. And, it should not be a privilege. Through researching the benefits and barriers to farmers’ markets, examining these barriers, developing suggestions for overcoming these barriers, and implementing as many as these initiatives as possible in Bowling Green, Kentucky, I have not only compiled a detailed thesis, but I have also been a small part of creating change in the food community in Bowling Green. This thesis can serve as a nationwide model and describes the way to overcome food accessbarriers in urban/rural communities.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Research | Educational Sociology