142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Group dynamics in a community kitchen for food security and health: Advocating for local food organizations in vulnerable communities

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Kala Mayer, RN, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Social support provision is a significant determinant of food security and health.  Local food initiatives that foster positive group dynamics shape relationship characteristics that facilitate social support provision in communities most vulnerable to food insecurity.  This presentation discusses group dynamics of a local food initiative, the Family Community Kitchen (CK) Project, to illuminate processes and behaviors that produce structures of food equity and inclusion and opportunities for public health nurses to take an active role in assisting marginalized community efforts in meeting local demand for healthy food access.


Case study methods were used to identify and describe facilitators and barriers of social support provision in the Family CK Project.


Several major themes emerged from the data related to group dynamics. These included: facilitation, role allocation, participation, and linking. Results describe themes and how they facilitated relationship characteristics and social support provision for food security and health.


Community kitchen leadership-as-facilitation was a particularly strong facilitator to social support provision in the Family CK Project. Findings reveal locally-developed strategies for mitigating food inequities and exclusive food practices and support policy solutions that prioritize locally-developed initiatives in marginalized areas addressing issues of food insecurity and health in local residents. In light of the IOM report on nursing leadership, public health nurses should take the lead in assisting community efforts and leaders in moving as far along an empowerment continuum as they would like to go and in advocating for local organizations that serve the communities within which they work.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
List two group dynamics of the Family CK Project that facilitated equitable and inclusive social support provision for food security. Describe two public health nursing leadership opportunities with local food initiatives in marginalized communities.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator of this case study research. I have over six years of experience in community engagement and capacity building for local strategies to address issues of food insecurity and health in underserved communities. My work seeks to give voice to disadvantaged community members and promote a just and equitable food system.
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: 3394.0: Health Impact of Food Access