The Potential for Coproducing Food Security in Public Housing Communities


  • Joanna Lucio Arizona State University
  • Meg Bruening Arizona State University
  • Laura C. Hand University of North Dakota



Food Security, Public Housing, Coproduction


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.

Author Biographies

Joanna Lucio, Arizona State University

Joanna Lucio is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. Her research explores how urban governance, planning, and policy impact diverse groups in society. She works to advance the rights of disenfranchised residents through the evaluation and analysis of housing and neighborhood policies and programs, particularly for low-income residents.

Meg Bruening, Arizona State University

Meg Bruening is an Associate Professor in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on studying and intervening on eating behaviors of vulnerable youth and families.

Laura C. Hand, University of North Dakota

Laura C. Hand is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment between the Political Science & Public Administration department and the Master of Public Health program at the University of North Dakota. She received her Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy from Arizona State University. Her research focuses on how public administrators, especially street-level bureaucrats, interact with the people they serve. She is especially interested in how characteristics of interpersonal interactions affect outcomes for both administrators and citizens.






Research Articles