The following are a selection of images, captions, and quotes from Flint residents who participated in the photo project on food access in Flint and the impact of COVID-19. Most of the photos show intersecting themes, for example one photo and caption might illustrate family, cooking and healthy eating. Photos on these pages are just shared in one category to help show the breadth of data we received.

These data illustrate the theme of transportation.

This theme appeared 155 times in the data.

We define the transportation theme as: discussions of how people get from one place to another to buy groceries.

Flint Residents Shared

Dog in front of cases of water
“I didn’t get a picture of the bare water aisles everywhere I went during lockdown. It caused me a lot of anxiety that there wasn’t any water anywhere and if there was, it was a two case limit. They did do a couple of water distributions during that time at churches but my car is 20 years old and I can’t idle for too long before it overheats. The average time to get water from these sites is about two hours. So now I’m stockpiling water for the next lockdown.”

Flint Farmers Market Curbside Parking
“Three vendor handicap spaces were converted to curbside pickup spaces during Covid-19. Two things happened here. The farmers market established curbside pickup because of the pandemic and many businesses within the market closed either temporarily or permanently. So there were fewer handicap employees from loss of jobs or they just quit [due to pandemic constraints].”

Instacart app on an iPhone
“We have also tried having our groceries delivered using Instacart. While this has been convenient in some ways, it has also been frustrating. Sometimes we find that as many as 50% of our requested items are not available, or the shopper can’t find them. This includes staples of a Chinese-American family’s diet, including tofu (which we can’t get from Kroger). Some things we can get from one place but not another, so we have to choose between getting multiple deliveries and just going ourselves. Also, of course, getting reliably good produce using this method can be difficult.”

Tomato sauce cans in bulk
“During the earlier months of Covid, I would take home leftover grocery items from food distributions. I was able to purchase less items at the store during this time. This tomato sauce makes a great soup base.”

To learn more about the Flint Leverage Points Project, watch our Flint Food System Video.

To learn more about this photo project, visit our Briefing Notes page.

Explore other themes, images, and data.

*Note: The statements provided here represent the voices of the Flint residents who participated in this research project. They are not necessarily reflective of the values or opinions of Michigan State University or its affiliates.