Research Methodologies

In the second half of 2020, The Bronx Community Foundation provided funding to local organizations to address food security at the local level. The Lehman Lab for Social Analysis offered to help in answering how those funds were implemented and received by the population. Students were trained in qualitative methods over the summer to answer the question: How did organizations address food insecurity with the grant?
Over the course of six weeks, we trained the 6-member SYEP team in qualitative research methods and gave them an intensive course in food insecurity in the Bronx. At the midway point, they began site visits, interviews, participant observation, and other qualitative data collection methods at nine different community-based organizations, including food pantries, community gardens, and cooperative farmers’ markets. Interviews were transcribed using Otter.ai. The team used qualitative data analysis software, Atlas.ti, to identify salient themes and generate a codebook using a grounded theory approach. The coded data was then analyzed and students wrote this report for the use of the Bronx Community Foundation and the organizations themselves.
The results presented here are case studies that reflect how Bronx-based organizations worked with the Bronx Community Foundation’s funding to enhance their reach and contribute to their communities. Students that identified with the Bronx took an active part in thinking about the metrics of success for each organization. This report can work to further reflect on the challenges to overcome in the future to create more equitable conditions in The Bronx, and thus New York City.