Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Communication, Technology, and Society

Committee Member

Dr. Erin M. Ash, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. D. Travers Scott

Committee Member

Dr. Andrew Pyle

Committee Member

Mike McGirr, Executive Director, Feed & Seed

Abstract

Feed & Seed is a food justice organization located in Greenville, South Carolina. Recently, the organization partnered with Spinx Corporation, a South Carolina based gas station and convenience store chain, to form the Spinx Market Garden. Spinx Market Garden is the latest Feed & Seed project designed to bring fresh and affordable nutrition options to an area in West Greenville that is considered a food desert. Feed & Seed has expressed a desire to increase outreach and engagement with multicultural community stakeholders in the West Greenville area. The purpose of this thesis project was to utilize strategic health communication theory to assist Feed & Seed in implementing outreach efforts that build community relationships and boost engagement for the Spinx Market Garden. I utilized strategic non-profit communication techniques as described by Patterson & Radtke (2009) to conduct a communication audit and create a plans book of recommendations to address Feed & Seed's outreach reach and engagement concerns. I conducted meta-research on existing Feed & Seed data and communications and generated new data from interviews with organization internal stakeholders and external community stakeholders to inform the recommendations. I used diffusion of innovation theory (Rogers, 2003) as the theoretical framework to conduct the research and to guide the plans book recommendations. The plans book content also draws influence from a culturally sensitive approach (Dutta, 2008) to assist the Feed & Seed in achieving the organizational objective of increased and meaningful multicultural outreach and engagement within the West Greenville area.

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