The Potential for Coproducing Food Security in Public Housing Communities

Joanna Lucio, Meg Bruening, Laura C. Hand


The coproduction literature has long acknowledged that citizens are active consumers and producers of public goods. Coproduction tends to be successful when citizens are already engaging in activities that can be enhanced through collaboration with activities of public managers, programs, and agencies. In this article, we investigate the strategies and activities public housing residents engage in to produce consistent access to sufficient nutritious food needed to support a healthy life. That is, we investigate residents’ food security. Focus group responses from adults and adolescents in six public housing communities in the Phoenix metropolitan area reveal barriers and opportunities for leveraging communities to attenuate place-based disadvantages associated with low food security. These responses also demonstrate a potential missed opportunity to engage in place-based solutions that use principles of coproduction to produce and maintain residents’ food security.


Food Security; Public Housing; Coproduction

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