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.

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.

Marketing for Food Hubs

Overview

This website serves as a resource hub and academic paper on the role of food hubs in marketing to the end-user, including:

  • Customizable marketing flyer templates
  • Best practices for print and social media marketing (with links to other useful resources)
  • Inspirational examples from food hubs doing a great job
  • Academic hybrid paper, with both a) research on the history and future potential of food hubs, and b) actionable recommendations for food hubs to help their customers market products and maintain source-identification to the end-user consumer.

Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs

Overview

Developed by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, this guide offers an overview of federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture and how they can be used by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide.The guide also contains dozens of competitive grant programs intended to help grassroots organizations better serve communities and farmers.

WEBINAR-Tour the New Healthy Food Access Portal

Overview

This interactive webinar, hosted by PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and Reinvestment Fund, tours the newly redesigned Healthy Food Access Portal. Building upon the feedback and input of stakeholders, the refreshed site features new and refined resources to better support advocates, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to take their work – whether a local policy campaign or the launch of a local healthy food business – to the next level. The Portal team will highlight key features, including updated navigation, new content for advocates and entrepreneurs, and interactive tools to find policy information, available funding opportunities, and other resources in your state.

Webinar: Catalyzing Healthy Food Access Through Collaboration

Overview

The Food Trust's Center for Healthy Food Access presents the first in a series of webinars featuring the work of our grantees.

During Catalyzing Healthy Food Access Through Collaboration, featured speakers share information about regional collaborative projects they're conducting that are increasing access to and building demand for healthy food in New Orleans, Cleveland and Georgia.

Featured speakers:

Dr. Diego Rose from Tulane University's Prevention Research Center discusses a unique project that brings together eight food-based organizations to work on a variety of innovative healthy food access projects throughout the city. Their collaborative project seeks to foster synergies among these organizations as well as to assess the landscape of food-based organizations in New Orleans that use social innovation to address systemic problems of food access.
 
Molly Canfield and Suzanne Girdner from Georgia Organics share updates from their work to provide targeted communications training on nudge theory to a variety of organizations in Georgia working to encourage people to make healthier food choices.
 
Dr. Bill McKinney from The Food Trust's Food Access Raises Everyone (FARE) project describes this multi-partner effort to support a comprehensive and collaborative approach to food access in Cleveland – Cuyahoga County. The project provides technical assistance, strategic planning and additional resources for local efforts and is supporting more than 20 grassroots groups and residents who were nominated by an advisory committee to receive funding from the Center.

Intertribal Food Systems

Overview

Because for far too long, tribal communities have been separated from their lands and disconnected from traditional foods – putting their tribal culture and health in peril. A movement is happening to rewrite this history of inequity. Tribal communities are returning to traditional practices of the past to remedy problems of the present.

The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative profiles 40 tribal-led projects that are shaking up current food systems. These are just a snapshot of the exciting efforts improving the health of communities across Indian Country.

Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities

Overview

Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities, published as a partnership between the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's agencies of Rural Development and the Agricultural Marketing Service focuses on regional food systems as a means for enhancing economic opportunity. This resource offers a compilation of research, essays and reports that explores the potential for the growing popularity of locally sourced food to be harnessed to boost economic opportunities for rural and urban communities.

Access to Public Benefits among Dual Eligible Seniors Reduces Risk of Nursing Home and Hospital Admission and Cuts Costs

Overview

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) set out with a team of highly skilled researchers to determine what impact the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) had on healthcare utilization and costs. The results of this compelling research are available in this policy brief.

The study is the first to examine the association between SNAP and both hospital and nursing home utilization. Researchers studied the entire population of 69,000 Maryland seniors on Medicaid and Medicare (dual eligibles). Individual-level medical claims data were cross-matched against SNAP enrollment data, and used to analyze the impact of SNAP on healthcare utilization and costs. 

Food as a Catalyst for Community Change: FoodLab Detroit's Annual Network Gathering

Overview

FoodLab Detroit is a community of food entrepreneurs committed to making the possibility of good food in Detroit a sustainable reality by designing, building, and maintaintaining systems to grow a diverse ecosystem of triple-bottom-line food businesses as part of a good food movement that is accountable to all Detroiters.

This photo essay documents FoodLab's Annual Network Gathering, where invited designers, policy experts, food justice activists, FoodLab member businesses and community leaders worked to address the problem of economic inequality and the rise of the working poor in Detroit by ensuring that good food and good jobs are accessible to all people.

Building a Model for Good Food + Good Jobs: FoodLab Detroit Strategy Council Co-Lab #3

Overview

FoodLab Detroit is a community of food entrepreneurs committed to making the possibility of good food in Detroit a sustainable reality by designing, building, and maintaintaining systems to grow a diverse ecosystem of triple-bottom-line food businesses as part of a good food movement that is accountable to all Detroiters.

Throughout the first two collaborative work sessions, FoodLab Detroit's community of good food entrepreneurs, with the help of The Work Department, was able to develop a set of guiding principles and expectations for food businesses who wish to contribute to the creation of good food and good jobs. This photo essay captures this process, including the final co-lab whereby members reviewed these principles and ensured that this tool truly reflected their community's values prior to publication.

Redefining Good Food + Good Jobs: FoodLab Detroit Strategy Council Co-Lab #2

Overview

FoodLab Detroit is a community of food entrepreneurs committed to making the possibility of good food in Detroit a sustainable reality by designing, building, and maintaintaining systems to grow a diverse ecosystem of triple-bottom-line food businesses as part of a good food movement that is accountable to all Detroiters.

Throughout the second of three co-labs, the FoodLab Detroit Strategy Council members worked to further refine what it means to be a provider of good food and good jobs. This photo essay captures this process, where members worked to edit those definitions to ensure that those definitions articulated the core values of FoodLab Detroit, and painted a clear picture of the vibrant, local food economy that we envision.

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