The 2005 Rutgers Bloustein Community Development Studio partnered with Isles, Inc., a community development corporation in Trenton that has worked with residents of Trenton for nearly a quarter century. This community development corporation provides training for at-risk youth, affordable housing, community planning, and community gardening to make families more self-sufficient. In recent years, the organization has taken on community health questions, in part because many residents of Isles’ neighborhoods lack healthy diets. Some people go hungry, while others suffer from diabetes and other diseases. Many also suffer from obesity. Isles asked the studio to conduct a community food assessment to help it better understand food and nutrition in Trenton’s low-income neighborhoods. The team worked with Isles’ staff and explored these research questions:
- What is the nature of the local food delivery system?
- Where do people shop and what motivates their shopping preferences?
- Do residents get the food they need and want?
- What do people know about nutrition and how do they make food choices?
- How do public food assistance programs affect food consumption?
- What is the extent of hunger in Trenton?