Story Cart Project asks people how they connect with food

From wedding dinners to farmers markets, food has a way of connecting people. It’s the ultimate common denominator.

To explore that, UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies embarked on the Story Cart Project, in which graduate students and researchers traveled with a mobile cart to 27 Milwaukee locations to question strangers about food.

At grocery stores, farmers markets and food pantries, they invited participants to talk about food. Questions included where they usually gather their food, how they get to those places, and what meaningful, trusting food connections look like to them.

“There are historical, sociological, political and environmental conditions that impact why we do the things that we do day-to-day,” said Nicole Welk-Joerger, who directed the project. “So those impacts will be incorporated into the stories we collect.”