Date of Award

Fall 12-2023

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


International Studies

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Studies

First Advisor

Ilaria Giglioli


To address the issues that have been derived from the dominant forces in our food systems, movements such as food justice strive to find solutions through decolonization and addressing barriers to accessing healthy, affordable and culturally representative food. One group of individuals that are heavily involved in, and impacted by, food justice are college students. This study seeks to explore the extent to which college students’ involvement in food justice is shaped by their free time. With this research, I strive to bring in the voices of college students, while also bridging a gap in the field by bringing leisure studies, or free time, into the conversation with food justice. I distributed a survey to a group of students majoring in environmental science and studies, in addition to a range of other fields, to gain perspective on their perceptions on the intersection of free time and food justice, as well as meal-based discussion via a focus group. Through this, I found that college students are both in need of the work that food justice does, such as ensuring affordability, but they generally lack the resources or time to participate in the movement. However, it was also discovered that food justice looks different in each context, in terms of who is carrying out the work, as well as in the issues it is trying to solve; thus, there is ultimately not one way to use one’s free time to participate in it.