Presentation Title

Food Insecurity in Butte, Montana

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Ridge Symposium

Category

Social Sciences/Humanities

Abstract/Artist Statement

Butte, Montana is a western post-industrial city marked by a unique and formative history linked to its rich copper resources and lively industrial past. Butte experienced a stark decline in employment, investment, population, and economic stability following the collapse of its primary corporate employer, the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in the late 1970s. Today, Butte reports conditions of unemployment, poverty, child poverty, and food insecurity. These conditions, however, are not novel to the city. Having endured over a century of corporate control, labor conflict, and the harsh experiences of mining, conditions of poverty and food insecurity have long been a present and uniting factor of life in Butte. Using historical analysis, interviews, internship experience, and GIS mapping, this project seeks to identify spatial and temporal patterns of food insecurity in Butte, tracing its factors and evolution through time. In order to understand the present conditions of the city it is critical to understand the historic chains of explanation that decode them.

This research recognizes that food insecurity often stems from issues of poverty and access, and is deeply tied to individual and community health and wellness. Health problems that stem from food insecurity can be explained by the Social Determinants of Health, which imply that the environments in which we live influence the quality of our health. This project aims to identify, trace, and understand the conditions of food insecurity in Butte through time, as well as use these findings to suggest ways to move forward into a more food-secure future.

Mentor Name

Ridge Symposium

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Mar 4th, 3:10 PM Mar 4th, 3:25 PM

Food Insecurity in Butte, Montana

UC 326

Butte, Montana is a western post-industrial city marked by a unique and formative history linked to its rich copper resources and lively industrial past. Butte experienced a stark decline in employment, investment, population, and economic stability following the collapse of its primary corporate employer, the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in the late 1970s. Today, Butte reports conditions of unemployment, poverty, child poverty, and food insecurity. These conditions, however, are not novel to the city. Having endured over a century of corporate control, labor conflict, and the harsh experiences of mining, conditions of poverty and food insecurity have long been a present and uniting factor of life in Butte. Using historical analysis, interviews, internship experience, and GIS mapping, this project seeks to identify spatial and temporal patterns of food insecurity in Butte, tracing its factors and evolution through time. In order to understand the present conditions of the city it is critical to understand the historic chains of explanation that decode them.

This research recognizes that food insecurity often stems from issues of poverty and access, and is deeply tied to individual and community health and wellness. Health problems that stem from food insecurity can be explained by the Social Determinants of Health, which imply that the environments in which we live influence the quality of our health. This project aims to identify, trace, and understand the conditions of food insecurity in Butte through time, as well as use these findings to suggest ways to move forward into a more food-secure future.