210781 Utilizing a Community Garden Project as a Health Change Agent: Growing Fruits and Vegetables to Grow A Healthy Community

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:10 PM

Kay L. Cherry, MS , Graduate Program in Public Health-School of Health Professions, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
A community based participatory project is being launched in Suffolk, VA where community gardens are being created in both an urban community center and on the campus of a rural church property. The project was conceptualized by faculty of the EVMS/ODU Graduate Program in Public Health and the Suffolk Agricultural Extension (Virginia Tech) to help localities augment food banks and church food pantries under stress from the faltering economy. The project is being developed as the Suffolk Community Garden Project of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.

Project objectives include involving middle school and high school aged children in community work. Graduate students in the MPH Program will serve as mentors throughout the summer, working with the children and youth as they teach garden and life skills. Plans include the exploration of issues of healthy lifestyles and nutrition, including problems of childhood overweight and obesity. Community involvement includes the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation, Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Suffolk Master Gardeners, area Ruritans International, Suffolk Clean Community Commission, South Hampton Roads Resource Conservation and Development Council and community volunteers. Funding has been raised through local agricultural and civic organizations.

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 partnership to increase access to produce through a garden and food pantry project.
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.