210774 Programs and Evaluation of Community Based Participatory Projectrs to Address Disparities in Food Access

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:30 PM

Kimberly B. Morland, PhD , Dept of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Disparities between local food environments have been demonstrated in the United States by a number of investigators. It has been documented that low income and people of color neighborhoods have fewer selections of healthy food items. In a response to the scarcity of healthy food options in a predominately black and Latino area of Brooklyn, New York, residents worked with an academic institution to open and operate a new food store. This evaluation will examine the community's buy-in and capacity to address the local environment using this public health model. There were a number of major findings. For instance, several factors stemming from the implementation phase of the initiative had negative repercussions on the store's long-term success, such as: (1) renting too large of a space; (2) not branding the store from the outset; (3) early misperceptions held by community members about the store; and (4) turnover of organizational partners and personnel throughout the project, which ultimately resulted in a lack of leadership for the store. Equally important, because project personnel and consultants lacked the business experience needed to own and operate a food store, issues related to marketing, price structuring, decisions about stocking the store and accounting reverberated throughout the project. The repercussions of these challenges included: (1) a store that did not meet community's expectations; (2) unmet goals in terms of attracting local residents to become members of the coop; (3) reduced confidence in the long-term sustainability of the food cooperative; and (4) delaying the progress of other program goals for this initiative.

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the feasibility of community-based participatory models to address disparities in food access. Compare processes for developing community partnerships that increase access to food.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: conducted research on a community-based participatory food access project and other research on disparities in food access
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.