244473 Washington State WIC agencies supporting local food producers through creative partnerships

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:24 AM

Donna B. Johnson, RD, PhD , Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Kara Mochan, MN, APRN-BC , School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Cathy Franklin, RD, MS , Washington WIC Nutrition Coordinator, Washington State Deptartment of Health, Olympia, WA
Amy Ellings, BS, MPH , Nutrition and Physical Activity, Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, WA
Sandra Cruz , Washington State WIC Nutrition Program, Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, WA
The purpose of the Fruit and Vegetable Partnership Program is to build the capacity of local WIC agencies to engage community partners in innovative initiatives to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in WIC families. The project takes advantage of the rapidly growing interest in local food systems and is guided by a statewide advisory group of multi-sector food systems leaders. Formative evaluation found strong interest for this project from both local WIC agencies and local food systems advocates. In the first year of the project local WIC agencies and their community partners developed proposals for start-up funding for community-based initiatives, and a team of state WIC staff and university evaluators provided training and technical assistance. Twenty five proposals were submitted, and 12 were selected for funding by the advisory committee based on their feasibility, innovation and sustainability. Projects focus on home and community gardening, hands-on purchasing and food preparation, and connecting families with farmers through market baskets and other mechanisms. Project evaluation triangulates WIC client fruit and vegetable consumption data, measures of partnership functioning, and qualitative process data. The evaluation team has identified factors that enhance partnership effectiveness and WIC client engagement. Local partnership projects have faced challenges during a time of reduced support for local public health and loss of experienced WIC nutrition personnel; determinants of resilience, flexibility and sustainability have been identified. Lesson learned from the project will be used to help structure systems to implement sustainable, effective community projects that build on existing community advocacy and infrastructure.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe innovative local partnerships that can be built to enhance WICís ability to improve the diet of women, children and families. Identify factors that contribute to long term and sustainable efforts to connect WIC families with fruits and vegetables in their communities. Apply creative solutions to problems that arise when busy WIC agencies grow. partnerships with other groups.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I developed the idea for the original proposal for funding this project and I have been the primary evaluator and provider of technical assistance for these efforts.
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.