Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors



First Advisor

Teresa Mares


emergency food, food insecurity, community food security, food agency, food citizenship


Although intended for acute food insecurity, the usage of emergency food shelves has become chronic due to insufficient wages, and the insufficiency of federal programs. This chronic use of emergency food is not helping to solve the systematic issue of hunger, but instead is providing alternative benefits to communities. The purpose of this study is to examine how emergency food shelves have shifted from their traditional role of solely providing food to the food insecure to now promoting community food security in more meaningful ways through the employment of unique community health programs. Using community- based research methods with the food shelf Feeding Chittenden in Burlington, Vermont, this study specifically highlights the Community Kitchen Academy program, analyzing the multi-faceted positive impacts this program provides to the Burlington community. It explains the importance of recognizing emergency food shelves and pantries and their value in our communities through these unique community- centered programs. This thesis argues for the inclusion of emergency food in our mission, vision, and discourse surrounding community food security.