Colleen Hammelman, Temple University

Colleen Hammelman is a Ph.D. candidate in geography and urban studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Her research interests include critical food studies, intersectionality, political ecology, and qualitative GIS. Her dissertation uses relational poverty analysis to better understand the role of mobility and social ties in implementing food insecurity coping strategies among migrant women in Medellín, Colombia, and Washington, DC. She is also engaging in new research on urban agricultural practices in migrant communities with a focus on how these projects are influenced by local government image-making, particularly with regard to sustainability, and the ways migrant identity is shaped by public rhetoric about them. 



Insecure Urban Foodscapes

Relying on conversations with 72 migrant women living in poverty in Medellín, Colombia, and Washington, DC, this paper traces the urban foodscapes which migrant women living in urban poverty seek to navigate in order to survive. Both Medellín and DC struggle to meet the needs of growing marginalized groups living in poverty. In these cities, migrant women undertake complex, interconnected strategies to cope with food insecurity influenced by various factors such as affordability, transportation, safety, and availability of desired goods. Tracing the foodscapes of low-income, food insecure, urban migrants demonstrates the interconnectivity of survival strategies and particularly the ways in which they are both social and mobile. Better understanding these foodscapes and their spatial implications enables a critical reading of policy and practitioner responses to food insecurity—particularly food desert policy and transportation innovations—and may highlight improvements to those policy responses.