248371 Impact of Food Deserts & Food Imbalance on Public Health: The CHC Model for Change in South Los Angeles

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

LaVonna Lewis, Ph, D, MPH , School of Public Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Tanishia Wright , Community Health and Education, Community Health Councils, Los Angeles, CA
Lark Galloway-Gilliam, MPA , Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Gwendolyn Flynn , REACH US Project, Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Confronted by continuing health disparities in vulnerable communities, Community Health Councils (CHC), a non-profit community-based organization in South Los Angeles, worked with the Food Policy Roundtable Coalition and research partners to develop a community change model to address the root causes of health disparities within the community's African American population. CHC's Model development and application led to public policy interventions in a “food desert.” The CHC Model evolved as the Coalition developed its response from a traditional, individual behavior approach to an innovative, institutional practices and policies approach that focused on community and societal change. The Coalition, consisting of a broad spectrum of community stakeholders, was essential for community engagement, expanding community leadership, and diffusing knowledge. Non-traditional partners joined as the strategies and focus shifted to institutional and societal levels. A combination of traditional and non-traditional strategies was used to promote policy change. With support from the Coalition, the Los Angeles City Council adopted the South Los Angeles' fast food Interim Control Ordinance (ICO), and its successor, an amendment to the General Plan which restricts development of new stand alone fast food restaurants.

In sum, the CHC Model allowed the Food Policy Roundtable Coalition and research partners to not only identify how systems and policies affected populations inequitably, but also to develop strategies that combat these inequities. Moreover, the CHC Model prepared the community to play an active role in policy change and the implementation and evaluation of the relevant strategies to advocate for healthier food options through policy change.

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

Learning Objectives:
1) Demonstrate a Coalitions ability to engage community members, build community leadership and diffuse knowledge. 2) Develop innovative policy solutions to promote healthy food access in underserved communities. 3) Using land use as a tool to promote equal access to healthy food outlets in South Los Angeles.

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am repsonsible for because I am the Community Liason that lead the Coalition in the advocacy efforts that resulted in the policy change. My background is food deserts and public planning and policy.
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.