Online Program

Using cultural liaisons to engage underserved communities in urban agriculture and community gardens in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Vishwarupa Vasani, MPH, CHES, Policy and Community Programs, Minneapolis Health Department, Minneapolis, MN
Kristen Klingler, MPH, CHES, Minneapolis Health Department, Minneapolis, MN
Nadja Berneche, Gardening Matters, Minneapolis, MN
To increase access to healthy food in community settings, the Minneapolis Health Department [MHD] partnered with the nonprofit organization Gardening Matters to launch the Local Food Resource Hubs Network [LFRHN] in 2010. Based on a successful model from Detroit, the LFRHN connects individuals to resources in their community to help them grow, consume, preserve, and compost their own fresh produce. In its first year, more than 600 people obtained memberships; however, the LFRHN did not engage many low-income residents or persons from communities of color, who are most at risk for obesity and related chronic diseases. To better facilitate connections with target populations, MHD recognized the need for intensive community engagement. In 2012, MHD and Gardening Matters identified three community-based organizations to serve as cultural liaisons to the African American, Latino, and Southeast Asian communities. The liaisons established relationships with residents of these communities, introduced and recruited them to the LFRHN, and connected them to gardening and urban agriculture resources in their neighborhoods. The resulting partnerships and cultural connections contributed to increased capacity for food production among target populations and greater diversity in the LFRHN and in Minneapolis' gardening and urban agriculture movement. During this presentation, participants will learn about the cultural liaison model and how it has increased access to healthy food resources for underserved residents in Minneapolis. Participants will also hear key results from an ongoing evaluation, discuss lessons learned, and reflect on how they can effectively engage priority populations around food access issues in their own communities.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe how the Cultural Liaison Model was implemented. List at least three ways in which using cultural liaisons can improve food access for underserved populations. Discuss how a cultural liaison model might operate in their community to improve food access for priority populations.

Keyword(s): Community Outreach, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a CDC Public Health Prevention Service fellow. I am currently in a field assignment with the Minneapolis Health Department. I serve as a Prevention Specialist and am the lead evaluator for the Cultural Liaison Model work. I also work closely with Gardening Matters and the Local Food Resource Hubs Network.
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.