San Diego county food systems: Ripe for change
Methods The evaluation of the regional food systems project included data from existing sources such a survey on current operations and needs of local growers, partner tracking/food procurement data, regional needs assessment, and project progress reports. Key informant interviews were done with farm to school coordinators at local school districts in February 2011 and February 2012.
Results Initial results indicated 94.1% of surveyed growers would use a local food processing facility. The most important feature of the facility was the proposed distribution service, which interested over 90% of the growers. Small farmers also hoped to expand their businesses through use of this service.
Discussion APHA policy states access to healthy and affordable foods is important to health. A regional food system expands access to local food and helps improve nutrition for residents. Broad stakeholder support during development of the regional food system is one step toward implementing a regional plan which includes a possible future processing and distribution facility. Though key stakeholders were interested in developing a dedicated facility, long term commitment and funding are needed to establish a dedicated site. Interim measures to facilitate procurement of local food by schools were instituted.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related public policy
Discuss the process of prioritizing and implementing components of a regional food systems project. List critical steps involved in establishing a dedicated food processing and distribution facility. Identify key stakeholders for regional food policy development.
Keyword(s): Food and Nutrition, Evaluation
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the lead evaluator for two large federally funded grants for obesity prevention and chronic disease prevention through policy, systems and environmental change at the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. I worked with evaluation contractors and program staff to develop the methods and tools for the food systems evaluation.
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.