206331 Day(s) After: A Case Study of Food Systems Work after Conducting a Comprehensive Food Systems Assessment

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:50 AM

Paula Jones, PhD (c) , Environmental Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
Fernando Ona, PhD, MPH , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: Community food assessments have been used by diverse groups of people to examine food in a community, and to mobilize efforts to improve the food system. In 2005, the San Francisco Food Alliance with San Francisco Food Systems initiated a community-based participatory food systems assessment that brought diverse stakeholders together to research the local food system, publicize these findings, and implement changes based on the assessment.

Purpose: This goal of this research is to: 1) examine what happens after a community assessment has been conducted and 2) identify how these assessments impact community-based work, public health activities and government initiatives.

Methods: This study conducted a document and workplace review of food systems-related activities in the City and County of San Francisco from 2006-2008. In addition, a series of non-structured, informal in-depth interviews were conducted with participants of the food systems assessment to understand the potential impact of the San Francisco Food Systems Assessment.

Results: This case study illustrates that a community food assessment can powerfully justify food related activities and increase innovative policy making in the government sector by increasing networking and participation in food systems work to improve health and reduce “silos” between various sectors of the food system. However, findings also reveal persistent challenges in the structure, politics and power at the local level that continues to impede food systems activities.

Learning Objectives:
Describe public health activities that occur after a food systems assessment has been conducted in a community Discuss successful programming, interventions and policy work connected to the community food assessment Identify the challenges in implementing specific recommendations in a community food assessment Demonstrate how community food assessments can effectively help local public health activities engage in innovative policy making and intervention

Keywords: Food Security, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a doctoral student engaged in food systems research. I have extensive work experience in food systems organizing and policy making. I am working collaboratively with a public health faculty member on this research.
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.