267463 Community readiness to participate in the local food system: A novel case study

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rose Jennings, MPH , Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, UT School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, Austin, TX
Alexandra Evans, PhD , Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, Austin, TX
Sherman Chow, BA , Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, Austin
INTRODUCTION: Access to fresh, healthy food is a crucial determinant to healthy eating. Increasingly, grassroots programs aim to build a more secure food system through encouraging access to local fresh food resources (i.e. farmers markets, community gardens, cooking classes), often in low-resource settings. Sustainability of local food system programs is ultimately dependent upon community ownership. The purpose of this presentation is to describe a novel approach to quantifying the level of community ownership in the local food system. METHODS: The study is a cross-sectional assessment of "community readiness” to participate in local food systems programs that target food access. Key community stakeholders (i.e. farmers, school food service administrators, grocery store owners) will be interviewed using semi-structured interview guides. Interviews will be transcribed and thematically coded using a validated scoring guide. A “community readiness” score will be calculated and used as a baseline measure for a community level food system evaluation and to identify strategies for encouraging more participation in the community food system. RESULTS: The overall community readiness score and qualitative data gleaned from community member interviews will be presented. Results from the score and semi-structured interviews will inform the current use of local food resources in health prevention programing. DISCUSSION: Community Readiness is a novel approach to measure a community's “readiness for change” in interventions that aim to increase the healthfulness of the food system. The presentation adds to the limited research used to examine the connection of food systems and community health.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
To define the concept of Community Readiness To describe community readiness for participating in local food system programing To discuss the usefulness of defining community readiness in local food system programming

Keywords: Community Health, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the research coordinator for this study and a student in health promotion and health education.
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.