Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Charlie Curry-Smithson


There are many reasons why issues of food insecurity and hunger exist. Individuals, families, and households have various barriers to food security, often facing more than one at a time. Barriers include limited fixed incomes, minimum wage not equaling a livable wage, unemployment and underemployment, poverty, lack of personal transportation and/or access to public transportation, limited access to shopping areas (food deserts), and health and medical issues.

Considering the current statistics listed below, combined with the ever-increasing cost of food, more households will be struggling to meet their basic nutritional needs. Food insecurity and hunger is a problem faced by many, including Vermonters, and for this reason, the need for the Putney Food Shelf exists.

  • 14.5% of all U.S. households struggle to meet their daily nutritional needs at some point within a year (USDA, 2/23/12).
  • 4.8% of all U.S. households (5.6 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times in 2010 (USDA, 2/23/12).
  • 5% of Vermont households visit a food shelf or community meal site in a typical month, which includes 12,290 children (VSJF, 2/23/12).
  • 21% of Vermont’s children below the age of 18 live in food insecure households (Hunger Free Vermont, 2/23/12).
  • 32% of Vermonters cannot afford either enough food or nutritious food (Hunger Free Vermont, 2/23/12).

This capstone paper looks at the planning and design process undergone by the Putney Food Shelf beginning in 2010 and continuing through the present day. The purpose of this research project was to design a plan to support a sustainable, volunteer based, social service agency after identifying the needs of the food shelf recipients, the food shelf organizers, and the community. The intent of this paper was to utilize the guidelines for a Course-Linked Capstone (CLC) for Development Management I: Project Planning and Design by creating a document to guide the organization during this transitional phase. This document is collectively important as both an understanding of the project development that occurred from September 2010 to March 2012 and as a historical record for the PFS steering committee.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Civic and Community Engagement | Communication | Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Inequality and Stratification | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Other Food Science | Other Nutrition | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


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