Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Groups 5-8: Food Availability

This Friday Group 7 travelled to New Brunswick to collect data; visiting a corner store, two supermarkets which wish to remain anonymous, and a vegetarian co-op. They used a modified version of the Thrifty Food Plan to look variety, prices, store hours, delivery services and whether stores accept Food Stamps. One member also concentrated on looking at specialty food and vitamin sections, such as for infants and diabetic. Of the four stores it was at the cornerstores where they found the most items from the Thrifty Food Plan to be missing.

Although they collected enough data to begin their analysis, one of the members is concerned that the stores that they visited are not representative enough of where the residents of New Brunswick shop, and therefore won't give them a clear idea of what kind of food is being consumed. Although the supermarkets offered a good selection of food, the members felt that it would be more useful to look at more corner stores and to see at how accessible the supermarkets are in comparision to the corner stores, to really determine what kind of foods residents can buy.

They hope that when their data is compared to the research that the infrastructure groups are doing they will have more clarity as to how to address the problem of food availability in New Brunswick.

In the meantime, group 5 has been analyzing the data that was collected in Trenton. There have been no updates from the Camden group, and group 8 has a trip planned to Newark on December 5th; once these two groups have collected their data it will be interesting to compare their experiences on the field with those of groups 5 and 7.