267405 Food Dignity: Successes and struggles in community food system action research

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Christine M. Porter, PhD , Division of Kinesiology & Health, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Sarita Daftary , East New York Farms!, United Community Centers, Brooklyn, NY
Hank Herrera, MD , Dig Deep Farms & Produce, Center for Popular Research, Education and Policy, Oakland, CA
Daryl Marshall , East New York Farms!, United Community Centers, Brooklyn, NY
Peggy McCrackin , Division of Kinesiology & Health, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Martin Neideffer, Deputy Sheriff , Sheriff's Department, Alameda County, San Leandro, CA
E. Jemila Sequeira, MSW , Whole Community Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tompkins County, Ithaca, NY
Virginia Sutter, PhD , Blue Mountain Associates, Inc., Fort Washakie, WY
Gayle Woodsum , Feeding Laramie Valley, Action Resources International, Laramie, WY
Introduction: Many communities have been tackling hunger, obesity, equity and other issues by expanding local engagement with and control of food systems. Some initiatives have been working for decades. Recently, health and nutrition academics and practitioners have become focused on learning from and supporting this work. Food Dignity - an action, research and education project - exemplifies such a collaboration (www.fooddignity.org). The coauthors of this paper are members of the Food Dignity team. Methods: This paper examines (a) the practice and potential of community-driven approaches to food security through five case studies of community food system projects located in California, Wyoming and New York; and (b) the struggles and successes of their collaboration with academic research partners in conducting this research. Community partners are each leveraging a funding package for community action research that includes community organizing staffing, steering committees, materials, and a community research budget. Academic partners are collaborating with them to tell stories of their work. Research methods include interviews and narrative inquiry analysis, participation and observation, minigrant tracking, file coding, and Photovoice. Results: Each project is working to build local control over and engagement with the food system. The actions, challenges, strategies and successes of these initiatives and of the research process will be highlighted. Discussion: We close with implications for (a) how such initiatives can and do contribute to community health and (b) how public and community health professionals can play supportive roles in their work.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe strategies grass-roots activists are using to build healthier food systems in their communities; 2. Discuss struggles and successes in attempts to collaborate with academic research partners to support and learn from this work; and 3. Identify strategies that this team has found useful for fomenting food system change and leveraging academic partnerships in furthering that work.

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The presenter is an assistant professor of public health and project director and PI for Food Dignity. The coauthors are partners in Food Dignity and lead community food system organizing initiatives.
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.

Back to: 3133.0: Nutrition and Human Rights