189588 Advancing food justice in Los Angeles through community/university partnerships

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 5:30 PM

Andrea Misako Azuma, MS , Kaiser Permanente, formerly at Urban & Environmental Policy Institute-Occidental College, Kaiser Permanente, Pasadena, CA
Mark Vallianatos , Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Robert Gottlieb , Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
As the prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases increases, researchers and communities are looking to the food environment as a topic of inquiry and intervention. Previous studies helped to uncover the relationship between food environments and dietary intake, and in Los Angeles, CA, a partnership was formed to address these issues in a collaborative manner using community-based approaches. The partnership in Project CAFE: Community Action on Food Environments, includes a college-based institute, community-based organizations, and university-based researchers. CAFE utilized participatory methods to document the food environment and initiate policy and environmental changes in three low-income urban neighborhoods. Over a span of four years, CAFE engaged approximately 150 residents and stakeholders in food mapping, store surveys, school food surveys, and community meetings. We learned that the most common places to buy food in the three project communities are carryout/fast-food restaurants and convenience/liquor/corner stores and foods needed to make up a healthy diet are generally not available at most convenience/liquor/corner stores. Challenges to accessing and purchasing healthy food items include distance to full-service supermarkets and lack of convenient transportation, high food prices, and safety. By engaging community residents, students, and other stakeholders in the process, we have created common experiences and a shared set of information from which to advocate for food access goals in the city planning arena, responsible food retail development, farmers' markets, and healthy school food policy implementation.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will learn •How gaps in food access create barriers to healthy eating; •How community-based initiatives are impacting local food environments; and •Benefits and challenges of creating community/university partnerships.

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Program implementation, research, food systems education
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.