Nicolle Fernandes – work-in-progress


Course: SCN 240 Food and CultureNote: this is designated a writing intensive course.

Since the course is offered by the Nutrition and Culinary Management Program within the Health Sciences Dept. at LaGuardia Community College, I would like to examine poverty through the food insecurity and food justice/policy lens.

Step 1

Introduce poverty, maybe offer two to three scenarios or divide the class into groups and each reviews one of the following listed below. 

What Hunger feels like: []

The vulture and the little girl []

Stories of four Americans: []

Play the poverty simulation game []

Have students write a reflection describing their thoughts, reactions, feelings, and choices they made if they played the game.

Step 2

Instructor asks a representative from each group to share thoughts with the class to wrap up step 1. Then engages in a presentation/class discussion on definitions of poverty, food insecurity, food justice/policy. 

Discussion to include Farm bill, Food waste, sustainable agriculture, etc.

Student-led listing of ways to supporting food security followed by instructor providing remaining programs/projects especially in NYC–see NYC Food Metrics report.

Step 3

Think-Pair-Share “Do you think volunteers can help solve the hunger problem?”Segue into Food policy/Food justice

Sources for Instructor presentation: []         

Pendegrass (2019) Introduction to the symposium: rethinking food system transformation—food sovereignty, agroecology, food justice, community action and scholarship.·         

Reiley, Laura. “The health and climate consequences of the American food system cost three times as much as the food itself.” Washington Post, 16 July 2021, p. NA. Gale Academic OneFile. Accessed 25 July 2021 file:///C:/Users/C246_S27/Downloads/The_health_and_climate_consequ.pdf·         

The Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity in 2020 & 2021. []·         

NYC Office of Food Policy []         

Food Policy Report 2020. []

Pre and Post survey evaluating student’s understanding of poverty, food insecurity, food justice/policy-related content.


  • Mahatapa Palit

    Hi Nicole, It is great to see the detail with which you have thought through your course. In addition to the farm laws and other factors that lead to food insecurity, it could be interesting for students to think of the poverty and exploitation of farmworkers. The documentary, Food Chain does a great job of illustrating this.

  • Christine Farias


    This is a well thought out syllabus. It is great way to examine poverty through the lens of food insecurity and food justice/policy. This might be an opportunity to also expose your students to the environmental impacts of factory farming and the truth about the food system. Here are a few resources that might be of interest:
    Factory Farming Awareness Coalition

    The racism in the food system:

    Wasted! The Story of Food Waste

  • Amy Traver

    There is just an abundance of riches in this post, Nicolle. Thank you for sharing!


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