Refugee Foodways


Interviewing Rozlynn’s ESL Class in the Northside, taken with permission of ESL class

The Refugee Foodways team consisted of four Syracuse University students.  William Cecio, Danielle Foisy, Ly Ho, and Jasmine Nudanu worked collaboratively throughout the spring semester of 2015.  Through field research, in-person interviews, archival research, and email exchanges, the group evaluated the current assets present in the refugee community’s foodways of Syracuse, New York.

To gain a historical insight on how immigrant communities impacted Syracuse, NY in the same ways the refugee community has currently, click here.

To learn about multiple “access points” for culturally appropriate food that are frequently used by the refugee community, click here.

To learn about the different agricultural production sites the refugee community is involved in, click here.

To hear the various food stories told by refugees explaining their transition to Syracuse, NY and how they participate in Syracuse’s foodways, click here.

To gain a broader perspective on the refugee foodways from the key informants involved, click here.


We would like to thank the following number of people who have greatly informed our research:

  • Adam Sudmann of My Lucky Tummy, for connecting us to two interviews for our food stories, and providing valuable information on markets and the refugee communities
  • Rozlynn Jakes-Johnson, for allowing us to visit her ESL class and interviewing them
  • SUNY-ESF Professor Matt Potteiger, for allowing us to visit his food studio class, and providing valuable insight on refugee food production
  • Jonathan Logan of Northside UP, for providing us key insight on economic development in refugee foodways
  • Ben Vitale, CNY Regional Market Director, for providing us key insight on how refugees interact with the CNY Regional Market
  • Interviewees: Shakiba and Muna, who graciously welcomed us in their homes so we can learn more about how they interact and access food
  • Rozlynn’s ESL Class, for allowing us to visit your class to have a lively conversation on markets and food