To understand why Flint’s food system functions how it does today, we need to understand its history.
One of our first research activities was to co-create a timeline of significant events that impacted the structure and function of the current food system. With Flint food system leaders, we co-created the first version. Then we printed a large version of the timeline and brought it to community events where Flint residents could add to and edit the timeline with sticky notes and verbal feedback. We also gathered targeted information from key food system leaders and small groups of research participants.
After the research team analyzed this data, we developed a large comprehensive timeline and a shorter interactive timeline that highlight both negative and positive environmental, economic, and social events that shaped the food system in Flint. We identified whether events were within or external to Flint, and whether they were food-specific or broader. Both the interactive timeline and the full version are available for you to use here.