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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Food System Primer

Overview

The Primer offers short, easy-to-digest readings about topics from farm to fork, peppered with anecdotes and images that bring concepts to life. Directories of articles, reports, lesson plans, and other resources help food system scholars dig deeper into the issues. Developed by leading experts and educators at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, it is designed for educators, students, interested citizens, journalists, policymakers and researchers.

An Introduction to the US Food System: Perspectives from Public Health

Overview

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is now offering an updated, on-demand version of our free, online Coursera course. In this short course, we provide a brief introduction to the U.S. food system and how food production practices and what we eat impacts the world in which we live. We discuss some key historical and political factors that have helped shape the current food system and consider alternative approaches from farm to fork.

USDA Resource Guide for American Indians & Alaska Natives

Overview

Developed by Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, this guide aims to support Tribal communities gain a better understanding of the vast USDA programs and funding authorities for support of their visions.

Regaining Our Future: An Assessment of Risks and Opportunities for Native Communities in the 2018 Farm Bill

Overview

Commissioned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, this report represents the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted on Farm Bill issues relevant to Indigenous populations in the United States. Regaining Our Future argues that Native communities must be prepared to better advocate for their interests, defend programs on which their most vulnerable members depend, and look for new ways to achieve greater food sovereignty through reform of federal policies.

U.S. Veterans Serve at Home by Combating Food Deserts

Overview

The shuttering of three area Walmart stores forced residents in a 44 square mile swath of southwest Wichita, Kansas to live in a food desert. However through the partnership and support of the CDFI Fund, Enterprise Community Loan Fund and veteran-owned business Honor Capital, low-income families again have access to healthy food options and locally-driven economic opportunity.

Treasure Coast Food Bank

Overview

Based on market analysis and research provided by Reinvestment Fund, Florida Community Loan Fund developed a strategy described as a “supermarket plus” model of fresh food financing where food retail is a piece of a larger strategy focused on food security and healthy eating. This brief profile is an example of this FCLF strategy in action through a partnership with Treasure Coast Food Bank to expand its ability to distribute and process fresh fruits and vegetables.

Building Success of Food Hubs Through the Cooperative Experience

Overview

This report focuses on the experiences of four cooperatives in New York and Pennsylvania in aggregating, marketing, and distributing produce on behalf of their members.

Innovations among Food Banks in the United States

Overview

This new report by Reinvestment Fund and Bank of America looks at how food banks are adopting a variety of approaches within each of these categories to feed the hungry and permanently end food insecurity.

Getting to Market: Supermarket Access in Lower Income Areas

Overview

The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) performed a detailed analysis of supermarket access in 10 metropolitan areas, and the results are discussed in a new video, “Getting to Market.” Results from the analysis encourage users to view the locations of, and generate reports about, low-supermarket-access communities within the 10 metropolitan areas.

Colorado Enterprise Fund: Improving Food System through Healthy Food Financing to Small Businesses

Overview

This profile by Reinvestment Fund highlights Colorado Enterprise Fund’s experience building its healthy food financing portfolio to provide insights for other CDFIs engaged in this work across the nation.

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.

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.

Profile: The ReFresh Project

Overview

In February 2014, as part of the renovation of a 60,000-square-foot supermarket vacant since Hurricane Katrina, a new Whole Foods in New Orleans celebrated its grand opening. The store, which offers more than 330 local products, was built with a strong emphasis on affordability and community partnership.

Leveraging Institutional Purchasing Power

Overview

Institutions such as hospitals, schools, businesses, and government agencies play a number of important roles in a community: service provider, employer, educator, as well as community and cultural hub. These institutions also play an important role in advancing the health and well-being of communities and can do so by leveraging their purchasing power to expand healthy food access for residents, clients, employees, and students. Across the country, institutions are advancing innovative food procurement programs and policies that are aligning food purchasing to support access to healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food, strengthen local economies, grow quality jobs, and advance environmental sustainability. 
 
This webinar highlights examples, promising strategies, and lessons learned in engaging with health care, educational, and business institutions to shift purchasing practices toward improved healthy food access and more equitable food systems.
 
Featured Speakers: 
Ted Howard, Co-Founder and President, Democracy Collaborative
Lucia Sayre, Regional Director, Health Care Without Harm
Adam Kesselman, Project Director, Center for Ecoliteracy
Estefanía Narváez, West Coast Regional Coordinator, Real Food Challenge
Diana Rivera, Research Associate, PolicyLink (moderator)

WEBINAR-Grocery Store and Retailer Scorecard

Overview

The “Grocery Store and Retailer Scorecard” is modeled on a successful and similar self-assessment scorecard developed for school lunchrooms by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture. This webinar presents the “Grocery Store and Retailer Scorecard” tool and features speakers that highlight the behavioral economics that informed the tool’s development and the research conducted with grocers on feasibility and retailer adoption.

Profile: Portland Mercado

Overview

The Latino community in Portland, Oregon, has grown rapidly in the last 20 years, from 3.3 percent of Portlanders to 11 percent, and by 2040 it is estimated that 23 percent of the city’s residents will be Latino. This growth, however, has not been accompanied by increases in opportunity.

Recognizing the important link between access to healthy food, economic opportunity, community building, and culture, Hacienda Community Development Center (CDC) secured a federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) grant in 2012 to develop Portland Mercado, an innovative project which includes a Latino cultural space and public market, bringing fresh food and good jobs to the community.

Running a Food Hub: Assessing Financial Viability

Overview

This report is volume 3 of USDA’s food hub technical report series and provides modules, best practices, and financial benchmarks for different stages of business development for food hubs to assess their own financial viability and assist in making strategic business decisions to maximize profits and control costs.

Profile: Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund

Overview

In 2013, Virginia Community Capital (VCC) launched the Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund to enhance access to nutritious foods in Virginia’s inner cities, small towns, and rural communities. As a community development financial institution (CDFI), VCC supports small businesses and community development projects by offering flexible capital, investment opportunities, and advisory services.

Convenience Store Distribution Options for Fresh Produce

Overview

Published by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the United Fresh Produce Association, this new resource looks at distribution options available to store owners and provides an overview of the various options available to retailers seeking to increase their fresh produce offerings.

Featured Resource: Healthy Food Financing Programs Across the Country

Overview

Developed by The Food Trust, this list outlines federal, state, and regional Healthy Food Financing Programs across the country.

Perspectives of Urban Corner Store Owners and Managers on Community Health Problems and Solutions

Overview

Urban corner store interventions have been implemented to improve access to and promote purchase of healthy foods. However, the perspectives of store owners and managers, who deliver and shape these interventions in collaboration with nonprofit, government, and academic partners, have been largely overlooked. We sought to explore the views of store owners and managers on the role of their stores in the community and their beliefs about health problems and solutions in the community.

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI)

Overview

An overview of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. A viable, effective, and economically sustainable solution to the problem of limited access to healthy foods, and can reduce health disparities, improve the health of families and children, create jobs, and stimulate local economic development in low-income communities.

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