JAFSCD Article Heads-up: COVID papers on network analysis, SNAP purchases, media coverage + book reviews

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Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development

[1]Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Developemtn

JAFSCD Article Heads-up ~ May 11, 2021

[2]University of Vermont

[3]Johns Hopkins University

[4]Kwantlen Polytechnic University

JAFSCD is published with the support of our annual partners

Read about new peer-reviewed papers from the special JAFSCD issue on the
Impact of COVID-19 on the Food System.

The issue is cosponsored by [5]INFAS—the Inter-Institutional Network for
Food and Agricultural Sustainability.

[6]JAFSCD Website

[7]Logo for COVID-19's Impact on the Food System

[8]"Why Is Plant-Based Important Now?" webinar announcement

JAFSCD bids farewell to editorial assistant Emily Desmond

Emily Desmond

JAFSCD has been fortunate to have Emily Desmond as an editorial assistant
since her sophomore year at Cornell University. She graduates on May 29 and
launches into the wide world. We'll miss her very skilled editing and her
assistance with social media! Many authors have benefited from her sharp
eyes and clarity of thought.

Emily notes that as an editorial assistant for JAFSCD, she has been able to
learn more about research and community initiatives related to food,
agriculture, and community development, and she has thoroughly enjoyed her
time working for the Lyson Center (the nonprofit publisher of JAFSCD).

At Cornell, Emily is a government major with a minor in global health. When
she arrived as a sophomore transfer, she became involved with agriculture
and food access issues by working with [9]Anabel’s Grocery, the student-run
grocery store on campus—which she is still involved with today.

Following graduation, Emily will be participating in the [10]Coro
Fellowship St. Louis. We send her off with best wishes, but we know she'll
be an asset to all organizations she works with.

Peer-reviewed papers on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Food System

Lunchroom staff (before COVID) in Ithaca, NY

How one network cultivated local food resilience during COVID-19

[Peer-reviewed COVID-19 paper by Noelle Harden, Bob Bertsch, Kayla Carlson,
Megan Myrdal, Irena Bobicic, Abby Gold, Kim Lipetzky, and Tim Hiller]

[11]Full article

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed fissures in the global food system and
supply chains, negatively affecting vulnerable populations. As the
Cass-Clay region of North Dakota and Minnesota became a COVID-19 hotspot
during the summer and fall of 2020, community leaders and policy-makers
came together through the Cass Clay Food Partners network to support the
local food system in order to bolster the physical health and mental
well-being of residents during the pandemic.

In a new JAFSCD viewpoint article, [12]"[13]Cass Clay Food Partners: A
networked response to COVID-19," authors Noelle Harden, Bob Bertsch, Kayla
Carlson, Megan Myrdal, Irena Bobicic, Abby Gold, Kim Lipetzky, and Tim
Hiller present a discussion of how the Cass Clay Food Partners (CCFP)
supported community food resilience during COVID-19 through communication,
partnerships, and policy change. They also share recommendations for
leaders of other food networks and food policy councils.

The authors use qualitative methods to construct a narrative reflection of
their experience in responding to food system challenges during COVID-19
between March and December 2020, written by the steering committee members
and other network leaders most actively involved in the work. They also
present information from an SNA conducted before COVID-19, the results of
which provided insights that informed their policy response to the

Contact Noelle Harden about this study at [14]harde073@umn.edu.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCFP took on new work, including:
* A comprehensive food resource list
* A social media campaign to share resource and build food system
* New policy efforts to support urban agriculture and gardening
* Expanded partnerships and cross-network action


The authors recommend the following approaches to other food networks:
* Learn your network now, perhaps using a tool like network mapping
* Invest in small, immediate wins to boost visibility
* Help emerging leaders shine, it is well worth the time invested
* Become a valuable asset to the community and elected leaders
* Employ a holistic, humanistic framework for bipartisan policy efforts

Suggested Facebook post:

How did local leaders and networks support the Fargo Moorhead food system
during COVID-19? A hot off the press article shares the powerful approach
used by the Cass Clay Food Partners during the pandemic to achieve policy
change and other successes. Read for free:

Suggested Tweet:

Hot-off-the-press @JAFSCD article shares powerful approach used by
@CassClayFoodPartners during the #pandemic to achieve #foodsystems policy
change & other successes in Fargo Moorhead community. #CassClay #FargoND
#MoorheadMN #COVID19 Read for free:

(Image above is part of Figure 3 from the article showing social network
analysis of Cass Clay Food Partners and local governing bodies.)

How did SNAP participants’ fruit and vegetable purchases change at the
start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

[Peer-reviewed COVID-19 paper by Molly K. Parker, MS; Valisa E. Hedrick,
PhD, RDN; Sam Hedges; Elizabeth Borst; Meredith Ledlie Johnson, MSW;
Maureen McNamara Best, MA; Sarah A. Misyak, PhD, MPH]

[17]Full article

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the food system, increasing barriers to
food access and exacerbating food insecurity across the United States.
Understanding how consumers, particularly vulnerable consumers, immediately
respond to major disruptions in the food system, as was seen with the
COVID-19 pandemic, is vital for designing efforts to increase food system

In a new JAFSCD article, "[18]SNAP participants' purchasing patterns at a
food co-op during the COVID-19 pandemic: A preliminary analysis," authors
Molly K. Parker et al. utilized digital receipt data from a food co-op that
offered nutrition incentives to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP) participants in the form of matching discounts on fresh fruits and
vegetables. In response to COVID-19, the food co-op removed the limit on
matching discounts (previously $10) to further incentivize the purchase of
fresh fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants. The purpose of this
preliminary analysis was to characterize the short-term purchasing patterns
of SNAP participants at this food co-op before and during the onset of the
Virginia COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

Corresponding author Molly K. Parker can be reached at [19]pmolly95@vt.edu.

* The results indicated a significant increase in the mean matching
discount received during the stay-at-home order, showing that some
customers fully utilized the removal of the matching discount limit.
* There was a significant reduction in the number of fresh fruit and
vegetable items purchased by SNAP participants during the stay-at-home
order, both in count and as a percentage of all items purchased.
* However, the mean gross price of the fresh fruit and vegetable items
purchased by SNAP participants significantly increased during the
stay-at-home order.


This study provides preliminary evidence that nutrition assistance
programs, such as SNAP, and nutrition incentive programs may act as buffers
to shifts in consumer purchasing patterns in response to the volatility of
the food system, as was seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other studies
should assess the long-term effects COVID-19 may have on the food
purchasing patterns of SNAP participants. Future research should also
directly investigate the potential impact that COVID-19 may have on local
food purchases.

Suggested Facebook post:

Understanding how vulnerable consumers immediately respond to major
disruptions in the food system — as was seen with the COVID-19 pandemic —
is vital for designing efforts to increase food system resiliency. So, how
did SNAP participants’ fruit and vegetable purchases change at the start of
the COVID-19 pandemic? A new research article by Molly K. Parker et al.
published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community
Development (JAFSCD) sought to answer this question by analyzing the
purchases of SNAP participants at a food co-op in Virginia before and
during Virginia's COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Read the full article for
free: [20]https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.043

Suggested Tweet:

How did #SNAP participants’ fruit & vegetable purchases change at the start
of #COVID19 #pandemic? New article analyzes their purchases at a #foodcoop
in #Virginia. @VTHNFE @VaFNP #VTHNFEresearch Read @JAFSCD article for free:

([22]Photo copyright 2106 by Amy Christian.)

Wordcloud using the article's abstract.

Media coverage of the pandemic shapes public understanding of the effects
on farmers

[Peer-reviewed COVID-19 paper by Douglas Jackson‑Smith and Hadi Veisi, both
at The Ohio State University]

[23]Full article

The COVID-19 crisis revealed weaknesses and placed great stress on the U.S.
agri-food system. Many believe it could be a catalyst that leads to
transformative structural changes to a more resilient farm sector.

Media coverage of farming and food issues is important to shaping how
farmers, decision-makers, and the general public think about challenges
faced by the agricultural sector and appropriate public policy responses.
Accordingly, media coverage of the pandemic created important frames that
shape our understanding of how farmers were affected by the pandemic.

In a new JAFSCD article, [24]“Media coverage of a pandemic’s impacts on
farmers and implications for agricultural resilience and adaptation,”
Jackson-Smith and Veisi present findings from a systematic analysis of
national newspaper and agricultural trade journal (ATJ) coverage of the
impacts of the pandemic on farmers. They examined specific examples in news
stories of how farmers responded to the stress of the pandemic. Using a
resilience framework, the authors characterized the extent to which media
coverage highlights instances of farmer responses that could lead to
transformative changes in the U.S. farm sector.

Corresponding author Douglas Jackson-Smith can be reached at

* National print media coverage described how changes in consumer food
consumption patterns and disruptions of food supply chains led to a loss of
key marketing outlets, depressed commodity prices, and problems accessing
farm labor. While most coverage focused on these negative impacts, some
articles also highlighted growth in demand for locally produced farm
products sold directly to consumers.
* The overwhelming majority of media stories included examples of
farmers' reactive or ‘buffering’ strategies (destroying crops, cutting back
on expenditures, turning to government aid programs, etc.), with relatively
few stories of farmers making significant adaptations or transformations of
their production or marketing practices.
* The images of farmer responses in the media largely reflected efforts
to implement short-term adjustments with little discussion of deeper
structural change.
* National newspapers were more likely to highlight disruptions to
traditional commodity markets and increased demand for direct sales than
ATJs. Newspapers were twice as likely to cover any type of farmer response
and much more likely to include examples of adaptive or transformative
responses than ATJs.
* National newspapers gave more attention to the adaptive strategies used
by food processors and other supply chain actors, and ATJs were more likely
to print articles highlighting calls for more transformative reform of the
structure of agriculture or federal farm policies.
* These results are consistent with previous studies of media coverage of
natural disasters, where disasters are treated as largely outside of human
control and a deviation from normal. In this way, media coverage seems to
promote conservative frames that reduce the likelihood the pandemic will be
the seeds of a more resilient system.


Efforts to promote transformative changes in the U.S. farm and food system
will be shaped by perceptions of whether significant changes in
conventional practices are possible. Media coverage of farming and food
issues is one way farmers and the general public understand crises like the
COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for these types of shocks to
precipitate departures from business as usual. Increasing the visibility of
examples of transformative and adaptive changes by farmers and other food
system actors can contribute to the cognitive and cultural shifts required
to accelerate adaptive resilience.

The different farmer responses in media coverage of the pandemic probably
reflect early stages in a cyclical process of adaptation to a major system
shock. Although most U.S. farmers were able to weather the pandemic’s
shocks and stressors initially through buffering behaviors (and massive
government aid programs), the experience may have deepened farmers’
understanding of structural vulnerabilities of the dominant farm and food
system and could eventually contribute to a shift toward greater
utilization of alternative food supply chains, and open up new avenues for
more ‘generative’ processes of resilience.

Suggested Facebook post:

The pandemic disrupted U.S. agriculture and food systems — but will it lead
to transformative changes to increase resilience? An analysis of patterns
of media coverage suggests that framing of the crisis is unlikely to
encourage or promote transformative changes by farmers. Read the new
article in the special COVID issue of JAFSCD for free:

Suggested Tweet:

#Media coverage of #farmer responses to the #COVID19 #pandemic downplays
potential for #transformative changes. Read in @JAFSCD for free:

(Wordcloud above created from the paper's abstract.)

[28]Cover of "Black Food Matters"

Book review: Hanna Garth and Ashanté Reese's Black Food Matters: Racial
Justice in the Wake of Food Justice

[Review by Lauren W. Forbes, Georgia State University]

[29]Full article

[30]Cover of "Stirrings"

Book review: Lana Povitz's Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a
Movement for Food Justice

[Review by Robert A. Kluson, University of Florida, IFAS Extension

[31]Full article

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11. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.050
12. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.050
13. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.050
14. mailto:harde073@umn.edu?subject=Inquiry regarding your JAFSCD article
15. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.050
16. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.050
17. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.043
18. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.043
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Received on Tuesday, 11 May 2021 19:11:38 UTC