“Sometimes I feel like I’m counting crackers”: The household foodwork of low-income mothers, and how community food initiatives can support them
Keywords:community food initiatives, foodwork, household food security, gender, labour, unpaid caring work
For women parenting on low incomes, there is a significant disparity between household foodwork standards and the resources with which to meet them. This study centres on the everyday foodwork experiences of low-income mothers and their engagement with community supports such as community food initiatives (CFIs). It helps address a research gap concerning the relationship between CFI participation and maternal household foodwork. The study employs multiple methods including semi-structured interviews, graphic elicitation and tours of local community food programs. By identifying a range of factors, strategies, and challenges in mothers’ foodwork, the study elucidates some of the contradictory pressures that low-income mothers experience around foodwork. Some of these pressures are associated with meeting individualizing standards around being "good" mothers, "good" consumers and "good" food program participants. Efforts to meet these standards were seen through mothers’ attempts to feed their children healthy and preferred food, exercise agency through market choices, and moderate their demands of community food programs. While more research is required regarding both mothers’ actual participation in CFIs and CFI strategies to support them, the findings suggest that CFIs should incorporate low-income mothers’ subjectivities into food programming.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms: Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. (See more on Open Access.)