Cooperative Extension (Extension) can, and in many cases already does, engage in well-rooted partnerships with urban audiences. Yet, it is important to recognize that there are many layers to the diversity that exists within urban audiences– there is no single “urban community.” This article presents a case study of food security programming in New Brunswick, New Jersey, including collaborations between Rutgers Cooperative Extension and multiple community organizations to illustrate important considerations for engaging in urban Extension initiatives. Specifically, challenges exist in identifying urban audiences, including those who are hidden, especially as the demographics of city residents can vary greatly within a single geographic area. Solutions include the development of deep community partnerships and creative engagement of university students, with the latter participating as both an audience to benefit from Extension programming and as partners in program implementation. Evaluating urban Extension programming can provide important information as to whether a particular program is meeting the needs of the target audience, but a challenge exists in distinguishing the impact of a single Extension program operating in what is often an ecosystem of programs addressing food insecurity in an urban area.
Cuite, C. L.,
Errickson, L. B.
(2022). Strengthening Urban Food Systems Through Extension Programming and Community Engagement: A Case Study of New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 10(2), 5.
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