Food Security and Sufficiency Project

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    "Food Desert" American Samoa: Assessing Food Desert at School Locations
    (American Samoa Community College, 2012-07) Asifoa-Lagai, Molly
    The purpose of this study is to assess if food desert exist at school locations in American Samoa. A food desert is an area that lacks nutritional food. Most of the schools on island are public institutions and the majority of the children attend these schools. This study is about the existence of Food Desert at school locations in American Samoa. The GIS system was used to map all the schools on island and the nearby stores. The Food Checklist was used to survey 23 stores near public schools on the island of Tutuila. All the stores picked were in proximity with public schools. The criteria for market inclusion was that the store was in a public schools’ proximity or public school zone, or was found along common walking routes to schools. The results indicate that school locations in American Samoa are food deserts. Of the twenty-three markets that were assessed in this study, about 74% are visible from school grounds. About 57% did not stock any fruits or vegetables, of the 43% that stocked fruits and vegetables, only 20% scored 4 or above on quantity, quality, and variety
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    Assessing Household Food Security: Leasina County, American Samoa
    ( 2012-10) Asifoa-Lagai, Molly
    American Samoa is an unincorporated US territory located south of the equator. It is consisted of two groups of islands, Manu’a and Tutuila. The Tutuila island is the most populated island, where all the main public and private sectors are located. The 2012 population is estimated at 68,000. In the year 2000, 62 percent of individuals or 50% of families from American Samoa were below the national poverty level.1 The substantial rise in utility and food prices over the past years has significantly increased the number of American Samoans who are affected by food insecurity and poverty. Food availability and access to healthy food are challenges in the territory. About 95% of foods on island are imported, and most of these foods are processed. Perishable or fresh foods are not popular with businesses because of the expiration dates. The Household Food Security Survey (HFSS) was carried out at the Leasina county, the least populated county. The aim was to understand if food insecurity exists on island. The survey was translated into Samoan. About 44% completed the survey in the Samoan version and 56% completed the English version. An estimated 6% of the households did not have any children under the age of 19. According to the HFSS findings about 75% of the households are food insecure. Of this food insecure population, about 37% are low food security and 63% are very low food security. Of the households with no children, about 80% are food secure and 20% are food insecure. Some limitations to the study include how well the participants understood the phrase “balanced meal”. Most understood that balance meal means healthy meal, but how does it look like with everyday local food on the plate. Another limitation is the sample population. Is it really representing the population? The Leasina county is more like a rural area, compared to the most populated urban Tualauta county.
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    Food Security Status in American Samoa
    (Agricultural Development in the American Pacific Project, 2012)
    A poster outlining the results of an 18-item food security measure developed by the USDA to assess Food Insecurity is known as the Household Food Security Survey (HFSS) module which had been translated into Samoan and was distributed to the head of households in the Leasina County.
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    Food Security in American Samoa
    (Agricultural Development in the American Pacific Project, 2012) Asifoa-Lagai, Molly
    American Samoa is a US territory currently dealing with an increased number of people suffering from obesity and chronic illnesses. In 2000, 62% of individuals or 50% of families from American Samoa had incomes below the national poverty level. The substantial rise in utility and food prices over the past years has significantly increased and this has affected the cost of living in American Samoa. The overall results of this study show that 25% of the population are food secure and 75% are food insecure.
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    Food Desert: Does It Exist In American Samoa?
    (Agricultural Development in the American Pacific Project, 2009) Asifoa-Lagai, Molly
    Obesity is one of the main concerns for medical professionals, community leaders, and parents in American Samoa. Studies reveal the increasing number of overweight children in American Samoa. Most children attend public schools. This study assessed if the environment surrounding schools are food deserts, and therefore contribute to unhealthy diets.