Merrimack College’s Food Justice Research and Action Cluster (FJRAC) promotes research, practice and policy to reduce food justice disparities in our communities. Since 2021, our team has centered its projects around food justice in the Merrimack Valley.
Merrimack’s FJRAC was established in response to the drastic increase in food insecurity rates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food insecurity is defined as reduced food quality, variety, or desirability of diet. It can have serious short- and long-term consequences for children’s health, especially in populations of Hispanic and Black non-Hispanic children who are at higher risk for food insecurity.
The Food Justice Research and Action Cluster:
Greater Boston Food Bank
The Merrimack College Food Justice Research and Action Cluster is funded by the College’s Provost Innovation Fund. The fund is focused on supporting existing faculty-led scholarship projects and initiatives that engage with community partners and exemplify community engagement.
Team members Elaine Ward, Eleanor Shonkoff, Cynthia Carlson and Christopher Stuetzle frame the stages and timeline that led to the formation of the FJRAC in this institutional case study published in the Metropolitan Universities Journal.
The authors share the work of Merrimack faculty and leadership to affirm and institutionalize community engagement through community-engaged research and the development of FJRAC, connecting community priorities for food justice with faculty expertise.
Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Co-Director, Environmental Sciences and Sustainability
Associate Clinical Professor, Nutrition and Public Health
Associate Professor, Computer and Data Sciences