International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Dr. Ramon Borges-Mendez

Second Reader

Dr. Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger


food insecurity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, food justice, food sovereignty, agribusiness


The following research paper begins with an acknowledgement of the global food crisis and, more specifically, the agribusiness model of food production and distribution in the United States. It then zeroes in on the fundamental issues with many of the United States food movements. It then outlines a narrative with the frame that food security is a human right by elucidating concepts of food justice and food sovereignty. Once this foundation has been laid, the paper examines chronic food-related ailments (diabetes and coronary heart disease) in Worcester, Massachusetts, and how these ailments are related to racial/ethnic minorities (Black and Hispanic/Latino populations) and median household income. Through an analysis of both the existing literature and the spatial patterns evident in the city of Worcester, MA, this paper aims to understand the components of food insecurity and how they are related to chronic diseases in Worcester, MA. Finally, this paper builds upon the theoretical foundation for structural change by offering models of initiatives which could be implemented in Worcester and beyond.





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