What We Bring to the Table : Exploring Community Food Access and Experience

photovoice participant takes a photo of produce at a pantry

On September 15th, 2022 we held an exhibition of these photos and captions at the Martin Luther King, Jr. branch of the Cleveland Public Library. This is a digital extension of that exhibition. 

Study participants (all Cleveland residents) were asked to reflect on things that they were proud of and things that demanded change in their food environments and communities. Their resultant images and words contribute to community discourse surrounding health, equity, and nutrition.

Photovoice is a participatory method, defined as a “process by which people can identify, represent and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique” (Wang and Burris 1997, p. 369).

Photovoice has three main goals;
●    to document and reflect on the strengths and gaps within a community,
●    to enhance critical discussion and knowledge sharing about community concerns,
●    to share community issues with policymakers.

During this process, participants reflect on a guiding question or prompt using photography.
In this study, 6 participants from Cleveland were asked to take pictures of things they were proud of and things that needed to change in their household food access and environment. The following questions guided the photo discussions with each participant;

●    What do you see in this photo? What is happening?
●    Where was this photo taken?
●    Why did you take this photo?
●    What does this photo tell us about your life and life in your community?
●    Why are things this way?
●    Does this photo represent something you're proud of or something that needs to change? What can be done to support or change this?