Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Migration Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Migration Studies

First Advisor

Christina Garcia Lopez


This thesis focuses on the adverse health impacts food systems have on Latinx immigrant communities. Marquez looks closely at emergency services programs using the food bank run by the Our Lady of the Pillar in Half Moon Bay, California, and interviewed five Latina immigrants from Mexico and Central America. While the food banks provided these families with fresh produce, the women expressed that it is substandard to the produce in their home countries. The interviews are supplemented with the analysis of three spoken word poems by youth who are second generation or whom have spent the majority of their lives in the U.S. through the Bigger Picture Project. The Latinx immigrant youth discuss other aspects of the food systems they lived in, such as living in food swamps and deserts and having an overwhelming amount of processed foods and sugary beverage ads racially targeted towards them. For the poets, the injustices in the food systems are a catalyst to the creation of their spoken word videos. The interviews present how Latina immigrants feel about the food at the food bank and in the general , as compared to their memory of their food back home, and the structures that have influenced their food choices. Meanwhile, the poems discuss the health repercussions that descendants of the immigrant food bank beneficiaries might experience in the future. Together the interviewees of this study and the words of the spoken word poems articulate injustices in the food systems and how this has influenced high rates of chronic illnesses in Latinx immigrant communities.

Included in

Food Studies Commons