Appalachia is a cultural region that is geographically centered around the Appalachian Mountain range. The cultural values and historical tendencies have highly influenced opportunities and decision making in this area. The Appalachian economy is historically dependent on natural resource extraction in the form of coal mining. Relying on a coal economy has created an unstable socioeconomic system that has resulted in extreme rates of poverty and food insecurity. A large percentage of Appalachians rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as their primary food resource, but this resource does not meet the needs of participants. Appalachians are forced to rely on private sources of food allocation, including nonprofit organizations, food banks, and neighbors. The United States theory of food deserts suggests that there are concentrated areas that experience high food insecurity attributed to low-income and low accessibility of affordable and nutritious food resources. Appalachians have faced the struggles that come with living in a food desert. Poverty and food insecurity are the original state, therefore there needs to be action to create an improved food environment. The Appalachian region’s food environment is strongly characterized by high food insecurity, lack of nutritional food resources, and poor economic status. Creating sustainable gardening systems in the household is an attainable and historically aligned solution to improve the food environment, while establishing long-term household food security.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2022


Jacob C. Domenghini

Mentor Department Affiliation


Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level