Santa Clara University

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Food & Agribusiness Institute

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Cost of a Healthy Meal Research Project

It has been over two years since the inception of the “Cost of a Healthy Meal” research project in the summer of 2011. Our research team has conducted over 740 interviews thus far and by October 2013 we intend to collect and analyze 800 primary interviews, as well as secure 100 secondary and 100 tertiary follow-up interviews.

This study is growing in popularity among the SCU campus community which is evident by the increasing amount of student interest in the project. This spring, we received nearly 70 internship applications for 16 internship positions. The first group of interns recently wrapped up their work and the second group has begun training and is eager to start site visits. 

Our data has been extremely useful in understanding the constraints low-income populations have for obtaining a healthy diet. Statistics show that the average expenditure on food is around $5.93/ day with a high variation of $4.30-$9.52. Regardless of variation, our data shows the majority of individuals within Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are spending more than the $5.37/ day that the USDA claims is sufficient for a healthy diet.

The research team has grown substantially and is utilizing the different skill sets of our student research assistants.  Stay tuned for a formal update at a later FAI event!


~ Update courtesy of Courtney Robinson, Research Assistant and FAI MBA Specialization Student

Tags: awareness, consumption, Cost of a Healthy Meal, FAI, food, hunger, local food, research

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