Santa Clara University

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Research & Initiatives

Faces of Hunger Project


The Faces of Hunger Project is a collaborative photojournalism project between the Food and Agribusiness Institute of Santa Clara University and Second Harvest Food Bank.  Through the portraits and stories collected at 15 of the more than 830 distribution sites, the project provides a glimpse of the complex and multi-faceted food environment in which the clients, volunteers, and staff navigate.  The purpose of the project is to highlight Second Harvest's impact on the individuals served and the overall impact on our communities.

Over 1700 photographs were taken during the summer of 2010.  Select images from the project will be on display during the annual Hunger Issues Forum on September 10, 2010.  In November, a book including images and stories from the project will be available through the Second Harvest Food Bank.


Agribusiness 2020 Scenario Analysis

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 11This research reports the results of the analysis of surveys and focus groups of a large number of international experts on the future direction of agribusiness industry. Several scenarios are developed and explored. The most likely scenario, called Panta Rei, or Everything Moves, includes increasing effects of global warming, greater concentration of food industry and trade, increasing importance of local food production systems, greater application of biotechnology, more individualization in food consumption, and more food supply problems. 

  • BreadBest Breads Looks to Improve Profitability Case Study

    The case explores the poor performance of a medium- to large-scale baker as management attempts to determine the root cause of poor performance. Production, supply chain, and financial issues are addressed in the case. 

  • ForgeUrban Agriculture Evaluation

    This project assesses the impacts, costs, and challenges associated with some of the most common forms of urban agriculture in Santa Clara County: community gardens, urban farms, home gardens, and farmers' markets. Using a method for weighing produce developed by our collaborators at UC Cooperative Extension Santa Clara County, we are working with home and community gardeners to measure the amount of produce they grow. Through surveys and interviews, we will assess how taking part in urban agriculture impacts people’s food security, health, social connectedness, food budgets, and civic engagement. This project also considers the costs and challenges of growing food in an urban environment. 

  • MarketMarket Power in the Fresh Produce Agriculture Sector

    This research explores opportunities to reduce food insecurity in California by examining the potential for community-based hunger relief organizations to provide a valuable secondary market to California’s agricultural producers. The paper describes and explains the relationship between market power in the fresh produce industry and the secondary markets that exist as a result of supply control. The primary objective is to develop an understanding of the relationship between the growth of market power in the primary market and the price of fresh produce product in the domestic secondary markets. It is concluded that the factors that affect this relationship most significantly are product price inelasticity and shelf life.
  • PuebloMi Pueblo Foods Case Study

    This case study focuses on a local supermarket chain that targets the Hispanic market. The case explores the opportunities and challenges as management considers whether it should open a store in a food desert that has a high crime rate. 

  • MarketingOrganic Produce Industry and the Rise of Marketing Order Discontentment

    This study provides an analysis of California's organic producers' perspectives on current agricultural marketing orders and the impact these marketing orders activities have on the sale of certified organic produce. Data were collected from interviews, focus groups, and surveys of California organic producers. The top alternatives for change were modifying existing marketing orders to allow for promotion of organic produce and allowing organic growers the freedom to use the funds to promote their organic products.

  • hunger webHunger Index Research

    The Food and Agribusiness Institute funds Dr. S. Andrew Starbird’s Hunger Index research, completed in collaboration with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. 

    The Hunger Index was developed to measure hunger for the most food insecure households within specific counties.  The Hunger Index also calculates the number of meals that are provided by various food assistance organizations and programs: SFHB, Children and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Meals on Wheels, School Meals Program, Senior Nutrition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamps program), and Woman Infant and Children (WIC).  Food assistance provided in both counties has increased in 2009.  The county food assistance programs provided 109.4 million meals in 2009 in Santa Clara County and 29.2 million meals in San Mateo County. 

    Download the 2009 Hunger Index presentation [.pdf]

    The Food and Agribusiness Institute hopes to expand the Hunger Index research to include all Bay Area counties in the coming years.

  • garden webSCU Community Garden

    The creation of a new education and community garden on campus begins this year under the leadership of the Environmental Studies Institute and with the support of the Food and Agribusiness Institute as well as the College of Arts and Sciences and the Ignatian Center. The garden will soon bloom on the vacant lot at the corner of Benton and Sherman streets, just one block from Lucas Hall.

    The Bronco Urban Garden (BUG) program, a new environmental justice outreach initiative, will utilize the garden to serve the greater community. BUG will work with several community-based organizations and schools to help build and nurture community and school gardens in San Jose, improving community food security and environmental literacy.

    BUG Americorps members will help build new gardens (including SCU’s garden) and will provide teacher training, garden assistance, gardening resources and educational program support for our community partners. The neighborhoods that will be served this year include Gardner, Washington, Alma, and Alviso.

  • SCCPantrySoupKitchen200PctPovMapping Hunger and Food Assistance in Santa Clara County

    We use Geographic Information Systems to map hunger in Santa Clara County, California, relying on census data to calculate the percent of households living at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. We then overlay a plot of the food assistance distribution points to identify areas where low income residents do not have easy access to food assistance.

  • LabelingFront-of-Package Nutritional Labeling’s Influence on the Perceived Healthiness of Packaged Dinners

    In making food purchases, consumers are confronted with product labels that may be inconvenient to access and difficult to interpret. Access to such information is critical to ensure that consumers make healthy food choices. Front of Package (FOP) nutritional labeling allows consumers to be able to quickly interpret the nutritional information of a product and ensure that it aligns with their purchasing preferences. We analyze the ability of different FOP label formats to communicate nutritional information to consumers and measure to what degree these labels influence their food purchasing decisions.

  • kidseatinghealthyChildhood Obesity Survey

    We examine the problem of childhood obesity in the United States from the perspectives of parents, teachers, pediatricians, and dietitians. Members from each of these groups are asked to respond to a series of questions regarding their perception of the seriousness of the problem, the causes of childhood obesity, and potential remedies. The study is unique in that it compares survey results collected in both 2005 and 2014. We expect to report on preliminary findings in the coming weeks.

  • UntitledCost of a Healthy Meal

    We aim to understand the relationship between food procurement and nutrition attainment of low-income populations in the Bay Area. Of particular interest is the gap between food assistance allotments and actual food expenditures. Over 30 students have helped us conduct over 800 interviews with clients of Second Harvest Food Bank. Using this data, we analyze how food prices constrain food purchasing decisions and how those decisions ultimately affect low-income individuals' nutritional well-being.


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