United for Health: Community Based Strategies for Healthy, Culturally Appropriate Alternative Food Resources in Underserved Communities in Los Angeles
With CDC funding, 14 partner organizations formed the United for Health Collaborative (UFH) spanning five low-income, multi-ethnic communities in Los Angeles to address food security and other health equity issues. Partner organizations worked with community residents to develop alternative healthy food resources in their communities, such as corner store conversions, farmers’ markets, community gardens, and pop-up markets. Key participant interviews, stakeholder interviews, and detailed meeting notes allowed us to evaluate the collaborative process. Market and garden inventories and provider surveys measured the impact and outcome of the interventions. UFH’s Healthy Eating Committee (HEC) partners successfully facilitated the development and implementation of healthy, culturally appropriate food resources to enhance healthy food access. Partners increased EBT access at farmers markets, provided over ten tons of organic produce through weekly pop-up markets, created 7 community gardens, and converted 5 corner stores into healthy food retailers. A key emergent theme in the process evaluation was a high level of awareness of community members’ cultural preferences for food among HEC partners. Increased collaboration and support of partners’ work over time was observed, ultimately leading to the creation of a community toolkit to support the development of additional innovative strategies to address food security in underserved communities. Collaborators successfully bridged ethnic and geographic divides to develop critical elements of an improved food system in these underserved communities. The collaborators incorporated communities’ cultural preferences around food to create an important foundation for promoting healthy eating behaviors.
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Discuss the barriers and facilitators to introducing healthy food resources in underserved communities.
Explain the cultural relevance of food for health behaviors in low-income communities of color.
Keyword(s): Cultural Competency, Food Security
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project manager of the evaluation of the United for Health project involved in all aspects of evaluation - tool development, data collection, and data analysis. Among my professional interests is the development of alternative food resources and systems to improve health outcomes in low-income urban communities.
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.