Meaningful Community Engagement for Health and Equity

Overview

This guide, part of the A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity tool developed by the Center for Disease Control, offers best practies for a facilitating meaningful community engagement process.

ReFresh and Colorado Enterprise Fund

Overview

The goal of Reinvestment Fund’s ReFresh initiative is to increase the capacity of the community development financial institution (CDFI) industry to fund healthy food projects by creating tools and resources, offering technical assistance, and helping peer organizations learn together. ReFresh has been an important partner as Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), headquartered in Denver, Colorado, has grown its portfolio of healthy food lending. In 2016, Reinvestment Fund and CEF collaborated to take a closer look at some of the ways that ReFresh has helped CEF grow its food lending capacity.

Community Engagement Resource Guide: What is it?

Overview

This Robert Wood Johnson Foundation resource guide provides information on engaging local residents and other constituents to play meaningful roles in efforts to build healthy, opportunity-rich communities where children and families thrive.

Community Engagement Resource Guide: Why use it?

Overview

This Robert Wood Johnson Foundation resource guide provides information on engaging local residents and other constituents to play meaningful roles in efforts to build healthy, opportunity-rich communities where children and families thrive.

A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity

Overview

Developed by the CDC, this document aims to assist practitioners with addressing disparities in chronic disease health outcomes. It offers lessons learned from practitioners on the front lines of local, state, and tribal organizations that are working to promote health and prevent chronic disease health disparities.

Profile: Nojaim Brothers Supermarket

Overview

The Nojaim Brothers Supermarket, Syracuse’s only independently owned grocery store, and a community hub — faced possible closure in 2010 due to dated infrastructure and decades of population and economic decline. In addition to renovating his store, Paul Nojaim is working to help revitalize the Near Westside neighborhood. Through his leadership, the store is collaborating with St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse University, and the Onondaga County Department of Health on several initiatives.

The Common Market Business Plan

Overview

The Common Market is a values-driven wholesale consolidator and distributor of local food, linking regional farmers to Philadelphia-area communities and consumers. This document outlines their planning process and business plan. 

Starting a Business

Overview

Visit the Small Business Administration Website for information on resources and tools to start your business, including writing a business plan, registering your business, choosing your business structure, location, and more.

Report on Low-Income Families’ Efforts to Plan, Shop for and Cook Healthy Meals

Overview

Produced by Share our Strengths: Cooking Matters, this report, It’s Dinnertime: A Report on Low-Income Families’ Efforts to Plan, Shop for and Cook Healthy Meals, provides an overview of low-income families' efforts to plan, shop for and cook healthy meals.

Starting a Food Co-op

Overview

Developed by the Food Co-op Initiative, this guide aims to provide organizers, board members, and development centers with an interactive introduction to starting a food co-op, including an overview of what is important in all stages of your co-op’s development

Video: Winfield Save-A-Lot

Overview

Check out this video about Reinvestment Fund's work to finance the fit out and equipping of a new 15,000 square foot Save-A-Lot grocery store in Winfield, KS. A veteran-owned and operated business, the store is located in a USDA food desert where the previous grocery store closed in 2013. The store will create 30 jobs and serve residents of a low-income community (23% poverty rate).

Video: Bottino’s ShopRite

Overview

In 2012, the New Jersey Food Access Initiative (NJFAI) provided financing to support the construction of a 79,000-square-foot retail center in Vineland, New Jersey, anchored by a Bottino’s ShopRite supermarket.

Video: Vicente’s Tropical Supermarket

Overview

Manuel B. Vicente has owned and operated a grocery store Brockton, MA, for 20 years that started as a small specialty food store and has grown into a full-size supermarket. In spring 2015, Vicente opened a second store that almost doubles the size of the existing store and creates a modern, full-service store catering to the tastes and preferences of the Cape Verdean community that predominates the city of Brockton, a suburb south of Boston. The market is located in a low-income census tract (55% of AMI) and serves residents of Limited Supermarket Access areas.

Research Your Community Data Indicators and Sources

Overview

The document outlines the indicators included in the Research Your Community mapping tool, including their sources. 

Healthy Food Access

Overview

This brief provides an overview of Reinvestment Fund's healthy food access investments and initaitives. A community development financial institution (CDFI), Reinvestment Fund is a national leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization. Beginning with the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative in 2004, Reinvestment Fund has taken a comprehensive approach to improving access to healthy, fresh food in low-income communities through the innovative use of capital and information.

The Grocery Gap

Overview

PolicyLink and The Food Trust present The Grocery Gap, the most comprehensive review of studies of healthy food access and its impacts, reaffirming that access to healthy food is a critical component of healthy, thriving communities:

Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters: A Review of Research (2013): An update to The Grocery Gap, the original report, this edition drew upon more than 170 studies, published between 2010 and 2013, in an attempt to synthesize and present the latest research on healthy food access and identify where gaps may still exist since the first report.

The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters (2010): The first groundbreaking report in 2010 reviewed 132 studies conducted in the United States in the past 20 years.

Blueprint for a National Food Strategy

Overview

The Blueprint for a National Food Strategy, a collaborative project between the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School and Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, examines the potential for developing a national food strategy in the United States. Through legal and original research, the Blueprint Project considers the need for a national food strategy, how other countries have developed national food strategies in response to similar food systems challenges faced by the United States, and the process by which the United States has developed national strategies in response to other issues. The resources created by this project provide a roadmap for the adoption of national food strategy in order to ensure a food secure future for all Americans.

Taking Stock of New Supermarkets in Food Deserts: Patterns in Development, Financing, and Health Promotion

Overview

Author(s): Benjamin W. Chrisinger, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine

Across the U.S., neighborhoods face disparate healthy food access, which has motivated federal, state, and local initiatives to develop supermarkets in “food deserts.” Differences in the implementation of these initiatives are evident, including the presence of health programming, yet no comprehensive inventory of projects exists to assess their impact. Using a variety of data sources, this paper provides details on all supermarket developments under “fresh food financing” regimes in the U.S. from 2004-2015, including information such as project location, financing, development, and the presence of health promotion efforts. The analysis identifies 126 projects, which have been developed in a majority of states, with concentrations in the mid-Atlantic and Southern California regions. Average store size was approximately 28,100 square feet, and those receiving financial assistance from local sources and New Markets Tax Credits were significantly larger, while those receiving assistance from other federal sources were significantly smaller. About 24 percent included health-oriented features; of these, over 80 percent received federal financing. If new supermarkets alone are insufficient for health behavior change, greater attention to these nuances is needed from program designers, policymakers, and advocates who seek to continue fresh food financing programs. Efforts to reduce rates of diet-related disease by expanding food access can be improved by taking stock of existing efforts.

Cultivating Equitable Food-Oriented Development: Lessons from West Oakland

Overview

The second of a three-part series by PolicyLink and Mandela MarketPlace, this case study highlights the ongoing work of Mandela MarketPlace and its partners to build a local food system that prioritizes community ownership in the San Francisco Bay Area. The case study explores how the Mandela ecosystem has grown and evolved, and the operations, inner workings, and relationships across its tightly woven network. View the accompanying photo essay, with original photography from Mandela MartketPlace, including a photo courtesy of Michael Short Photography.

Read the first case study, Transforming West Oakland: A Case Study Series on Mandela MarketPlace, which tells the history and background of the organization and outlines critical factors that contributed to its existing infrastructure and framework of local ownership. View the accompanying photo essay, with original photography from Mandela MartketPlace, and read this blog post by Dana Harvey, executive director at Mandela MarketPlace.

Evaluation Toolkit: Roadmap for Building and Sustaining Local Food Policy Groups

Overview

Developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) for food policy councils (FPCs), this advocacy capacity toolkit was designed to help FPCs assess their current capacity to work on advocacy and policy and provide them with appropriate recommendations and resources to reach their strategic goals.

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