Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2016

Degree Type



Biological Sciences

First Reader

Gregg Talente

Second Reader

Beverly Wilson


For my thesis project, I developed a wholesale produce co-op to provide fresh produce to low-income families in Columbia with Dr. Gregg Talente and Ms. Beverly Wilson at the USC School of Medicine. Low-income populations lack access to healthy foods due not only to cost, but also limited proficiencies in skills required to prepare healthy foods. In an effort to address these issues, FoodShare Columbia was created. A community-based co-op, FoodShare was formed to foster a healthier community by improving access to nutritious, affordable foods. The program functions through the use of a Fresh Food Box (box of fresh produce available at wholesale prices) as well as providing information about food preparation and nutrition. Overall, the feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. With little resources or support, the number of participants has steadily increased. Perhaps one of the most important future directions for this program will be to measure changes in the clinical outcomes of its participants. FoodShare Columbia is a model for effectively increasing access to produce in low-income communities around the country.

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© 2016, Mavinder Kaur Guram

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