Allison Karpyn, associate director of the Center for Education Research and Social Policy (CRESP) and associate professor of human development and family studies is the most recent University of Delaware faculty member to be named a Fulbright Scholar.
She is spending the first few months of 2017 in Eleuthera in the Bahamas to analyze the issue of food insecurity at a national level. “It exciting to help a nation where food security is a challenge. To overcome this, it’s critical to get needed data,” she said.
During her time abroad, Karpyn will work to establish a measure of food security and will aid grassroots movements to measure the impact of their efforts.
Food insecurity is a particularly critical issue for island nations like the Bahamas that do not grow or produce the majority of the food that is consumed. On average low income families in the Bahamas survive on about $4,300 per year for food, or about $11 per day.
“Obesity and hunger are two sides of the same coin. In a small island nation, there is less room to grow food and less funding for heathy food marketing,” Karpyn said.
Eleuthera had a strong history of farming, but it has fallen from a few thousand farmers to a few hundred farmers. Karpyn thinks additional momentum on the island can be fostered.
By building an affiliation with the University of the Bahamas, Karpyn hopes to be able to adopt an interdisciplinary approach, “connecting the dots between environmental change, commerce, agriculture, poverty and hunger” to understand the overarching state of food insecurity on the island nation.
“We‘re talking to a lot of residents about how they feed their family,” Karpyn said. “Food security means not only just having enough to eat, but also having the right kinds of food. There is a high percentage of people who only eat fruits and vegetables once a week.”
Her results will be presented to The Bahamas and US governments and, she hopes will be implemented in the next generation of global national food policy.
About the Fulbright Initiative at the University of Delaware
Karpyn is now an official member of the UD Fulbright Society, honoring members of the University community who have won the illustrious Fulbright award. She expects this award to create a doorway for UD to be able to share expertise in a new area of the world while inviting experts there to share information with the University.
The Fulbright Program annually provides 8,000 grants for research or teaching in one of over 140 countries throughout the world. Established by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1946, the program seeks to foster international partnership and cultural exchange by funding research and teaching opportunities worldwide.
More than 150 members of the University of Delaware community have received Fulbright Awards, including four undergraduate and graduate students in 2016.