243554 A Strategic Assessment of the Illinois Fresh Food Fund: Working Towards An Ideal National Initiative

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

James Bloyd, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
Jim Braun , Illinois Food Farms and Jobs Council, Springfield, IL
Robin Kelly, PhD , Bureau of Administration, Cook County, Illinois, Chicago, IL
Orrin Williams , Center for Urban Transformation, Chicago, IL
A Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) has been proposed at the federal level to increase access to healthy food, reduce health inequities, increase employment opportunities, and stimulate local economic development. A strategic analysis of the state level initiative in Illinois provides useful lessons for policy makers, public health agencies and sustainable food system advocates who seek a successful HFFI policy implementation across the US. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a broad range of Illinois stakeholders to prepare a strategic analysis of the current state of healthy food financing policy in Illinois. A SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) format was used to guide the interviews. The Illinois Food Marketing Task Force was convened to build on and replicate the success in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The Task Force issued a report and succeeded in winning approval of ten million dollars of state funds as seed money. However, obstacles including large state budget deficits have prevented allocation of funds. In addition Illinois stakeholders supporting the Illinois initiative are divided on key questions. Will small retail food outlets be supported, or will large supermarkets be favored exclusively? Will innovation be encouraged? Will grants be available to entrepreneurs who may be ineligible for loans? Will community needs, characteristics, and aspirations be valued? Will a sustainable systems criteria be embraced? Creation of sustainable food systems is supported by the APHA, AMA, and APA, based on evidence that a systems perspective is effective in solving complex problems.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to describe goals of the fresh food financing intitiative model. 2. Attendees will be able to identify strategic junctures in promotion of fresh food financing initiatives. 3. Participants will be able to apply lessons learned to their home state and to federal initiatives.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with this policy issue for several years, and work on a daily basis in planning and policy development in a large LHD. I also study this issue as a student.
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.