Local Research & Data

Strengths and Opportunities to Improve Access to Healthy Food and Active Living in Worcester, Massachusetts through Land Use and Transportation
Originally prepared June 2011 by the Worcester Mass in Motion partnership through a grant from the Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to the Worcester Division of Public Health. Henceforth revised by Worcester Food and Active Living Policy Council.

Worcester Farmers’ Market Assessment by Worcester Polytech Institute students, 2011-2012
Our research aims to improve how farmers’ markets within Worcester could address food security and raise awareness. Through surveys and interviews, we gathered an understanding of the situation and recommended organizing Worcester markets in a common direction by implementing socially effective, entrepreneurial methods to address the food security dilemma, by obtaining additional third-party funds.

Analyzing Food Security in Worcester by Worcester Polytech Institute students, 2011-2012
Our study, sponsored by the Worcester Food Policy and Active Living Council (WFPALC), assessed community food security in the City of Worcester. Quantitative data from the city’s food retail outlets, including location, price, and food quality were examined against race, income, and ethnicity census data using a Geographic Information System (GIS). Qualitative data from interviews with local residents were synthesized to gain a nuanced perspective of how the city’s low income residents negotiate the food system. This study demonstrated that food insecurity is more likely to affect ethnic minority and lower income residents.

Urban Bioshelters in New England, by Worcester Polytech Institute Students, 2011-2012
Urban agriculture is now seen by practitioners and planners as a means to improve food system sustainability, address food security issues in low income neighborhoods, and foster community development. We collaborated with NCAT to facilitate the growth of urban agriculture by designing a bioshelter suitable for commercial growers. Bioshelters focus on energy efficiency, renewable resources, and appropriate technologies. They balance high tech energy saving designs with passive low cost systems in order to create an indoor ecosystem rather than a typical greenhouse. This project’s bioshelter was designed with the goal of four season operation in a typical New England environment.

Health of Worcester Report, 2011-2012
A compiled report of statistics related to the health status of residents of Worcester.  Produced by the Worcester Division of Public Health, 2011-2012.

Hunger in Worcester County, 2010
The final report for the Worcester findings from the  Feeding America sponsored research initiative, Hunger in America 2010.  Report produced by Mathematica for the Worcester County Food Bank.

Hunger in Massachusetts, Key Findings, 2010
In order to solve the problem of hunger, first we must understand it. To that end, Hunger in Massachusetts 2010, funded by three Massachusetts food banks and
Feeding America, provides an in-depth look at who is in need in the Commonwealth, how the need is met and by whom.

Common Pathways Health Indicators Report, 2008.
This report outlines a series of indicators that are representative of major themes, or sectors of community life. They indicate that Worcester is, relative to other cities its size, a healthy community but, also one that still has significant issues to address. The purposes of gathering data, compiling statistics, and presenting this report are to educate residents, organizations, and businesses of the City of Worcester about the sectors of our city life that create a healthy community and to motivate them to join forces to improve those factors that most affect our quality of life.

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  1. Pingback: WPI Center for Sustainable Food Systems | Worcester Food and Active Living Policy Council

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