The Impact of Selected Socioeconomic Factors on Residents’ Perceptions of Benefits of Community Gardens

Nii O. Tackie, Nakia C. McCallum, Leonard Githinji, Desmond G. Mortley, Goppal P. Reddy, Jannette R. Bartlett, Prosper K. Doamekpor, Togo M. Traore


Participating in community gardens is believed to have several benefits; yet, there has been limited research on socioeconomic factors and their impact on community gardens. Therefore, this study assessed the impact of selected socioeconomic factors on residents’ perceptions of benefits of community gardens. Using a questionnaire, data were obtained from a convenience sample of 217 participants from Macon County, Alabama, and analyzed using descriptive statistics and ordinal logit analysis. The results showed that a majority (at least 73%) agreed or strongly agreed with statements regarding nutritional benefits, health benefits, and community benefits of community gardens. In addition, several socioeconomic factors; age, education, and annual household income, had statistically significant effects on perceptions of benefits of participating in community gardens. Consequently, it was recommended that policies and programs that encourage participation in community gardens be put in place for residents in the study area, with cooperation among, county officials, University scientists, and community residents. This will lead to benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, eating fresher foods, and possibly, in the long-term, reducing chronic diseases.

Keywords: Community gardens, Socioeconomic factors, Macon County, Rural communities

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