243007 Community food system organizing for obesity and hunger prevention in the US

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:30 AM

Christine M. Porter, PhD , Division of Kinesiology & Health, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Henry Herrera, MD , Dig Deep Farms & Produce, Center for Popular Research, Education and Policy, Oakland, CA
E. Jemila Sequeira, MSW , Whole Community Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tompkins County, Ithaca, NY
In the US, we currently are suffering from record-breaking rates of obesity and – as indicated by SNAP participation – food insecurity. Many communities are tackling both issues, as well as economic development and environmental sustainability, by expanding local engagement with and control of food systems. Strategies have included gardens and small farm development, crop mobs, good food box schemes, buying clubs, cooking cooperatives, new local markets, and micro-food processing. This research traces the history and existing and potential intersections of US obesity prevention and food security movements. It then examines the practice and potential of community food system approaches to both issues through two case studies of two community food system projects currently coordinated by coauthors of this paper: Dig Deep Farms & Produce (DDF&P) in Alameda County, CA and Whole Community Project (WCP) in Tompkins County, NY. The DDF&P team is transforming the physical, economic, and social landscape of their community with urban farming, produce box delivery and job training and creation for locals. The enterprise is rooted in the Deputy Sheriffs' Activities League as a crime prevention initiative. WCP, based in the local cooperative extension office, began as a childhood obesity prevention project. It has since become a convener and catalyst for “grassroots” initiatives that aim to prevent hunger and obesity by building local control over and engagement with the food system. The challenges and strategies, and failures and successes, of each initiative will be highlighted.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the linkages and gaps in community-based movements for obesity and/or hunger prevention in the US. Identify specific strategies for mobilizing communities most affected by food insecurity and obesity to improve community health through food system changes.

Keywords: Community Involvement, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Community Nutrition, have been involved in the obesity and hunger prevention community movement as actor and researcher in Tompkins County, NY for 4 years, and have begun an action research collaboration with Dig Deep Farms & Produce in Alameda County, CA, this year.
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.