Video: Students Say Food Deserts Are Much More Complicated Than They Thought

In this video a group of students from the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University address how to encourage healthier food choices in food deserts using a human-centered design. They discover that the availability of healthy food does not necessarily cause a shift in eating habits; education about how to prepare healthy, inexpensive meals is key, and making it fun is particularly important when trying to engage and educate youth.

http://vimeo.com/39380135

If You Build It Will They Come? There is More to Fixing Food Deserts Than Building Grocery Stores, Including Satisfaction of Shopping Experience

Shoppers not only care about cost and proximity to fresh produce, they also want choice and quality.  A study of nearly 500 residents in six low-income Chicago neighborhoods showed an increase of approximately twofold in the likelihood of consuming three or more fruits and vegetables daily per consumers’ level of satisfaction of the shopping environment.

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8495832

Baltimore Neighborhoods Lack Access to Affordable, Healthy Food

More than a third of Baltimore neighborhoods do not have easy access to healthy and affordable foods.  In response to this latest data from John Hopkins University, city officials and other groups are launching programs to provide healthy food for residents, including highlighting healthy foods at farmer’s markets, creating delivery services and encouraging more grocery store development. 

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-food-deserts-map-20120304,0,576008.story

FoodCorps - a new national service organization

FoodCorps, a partner to the AmeriCorps service program, aims to fight obesity and diet-related disease through promoting school gardens and farm-to-school programs. FoodCorps’ 50 members begin their year of service this month in food desserts in 10 states across America, including Native American reservations. Reservations often lack access to fresh, wholesome food and have lost connection to healthier traditional diets. 

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2089995,00.html

Fair Food Network

Fair Food Network is a non-profit, based in Ann Arbor Michigan, that is focused on building a more sustianable and just food system. Their resource page includes food access related links to reports, case studies, and policy and advocacy tools.

http://www.fairfoodnetwork.org/resources

US Department of Health and Human Services

The department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Community Services website includes information on President Obama’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), a collaboration between the Department of Treasury, USDA, and HHS, that aims to bring healthy food to retail and corner stores in underserved areas across the country.  Find information on the HFFI here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/ocs_food.html

The HHS Office of Minority Health webpage provides data profiles related to diseases and obesity rates of Native American, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Pacific Islander populations. The website provides resources, background information on related policies and initiatives and tools, and you can search through data by population or health topic.           

 

 

USDA Economic Research Service (ERS)

The USDA ERS website has many food access related resources including:

  • A Publications webpage with over 800 reports on nutrition, farm economy, policy topics, and the  rural economy
  • The ERS Food Security Briefing Room webpage covers the history of food security, statistics on food hardship and key terms involved in dealing with food security
  • Food Environmental Atlas page provides a spatial overview of a community's ability to access food
  • State Fact Sheets include information on “population, income, education, employment, federal funds, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and exports.”

http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodSecurity/

USDA Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS)

AMS provides many resources related to food access, including farmer markets and local foods, agriculture community supported agriculture, supply chains and marketing. The new AMS Food Desert webpage from the Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, regarding how food deserts are identified, grant opportunities, success stories, FAQs and a summary of the USDA’s initiative, and food desert census track data. Resources for grants are listed on the site and include opportunities in 19 programs within the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Agriculture.

http://apps.ams.usda.gov/fooddeserts/

PolicyLink

PolicyLink provides resources such as webinars, case-studies, and toolkits on food access issues, including those specifically in communities of color, and includes resources that focus on the links between obesity and the environment, and healthy food retail models. 

http://www.policylink.org

 

Public Health Law and Policy (PHLP)

PHLP’s document library covers a range of topics related to food access; including healthy planning, farmers markets, healthy retail, childhood obesity, economic development, joint use agreements, mobile vending and produce carts, legislation, menu labeling and redevelopment.

http://www.nplanonline.org/nplan/document-library

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Alliance

The TEFAP Alliance is a coalition of local, state and national organizations involved with The Emergency Assistance Food Program based in Sacramento, California. Their Foodlinks Newsletter covers a wide variety of food policy and food access news, upcoming legislation, and news from the city, state and national hunger community.

http://tefapalliance.org/blog/

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

The FRAC data and publication page provides food hardship data by Congressional district and national, state and county-by-county SNAP participation data from across the US, and also has several reports on US poverty with data provided by the US Census Bureau. Their Legislative Action Center provides resources and advocacy tools to fight hunger, tools to promote anti-hunger policies in the 2012 Farm Bill, and an overview and updates on budget issues affecting anti-hunger legislation.

http://frac.org/reports-and-resources/

C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Agriculture

The C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University provides research, conference proceedings and presentations on community food systems, farming and production techniques, business plans and resources on food processing and distribution.

http://www.mottgroup.msu.edu/

 

Ecotrust

Ecotrust’s Food and Farms website offers resources for farm to school programs and links schools with local farmers through their food hub webpage, which provides a catalog of buyers and sellers and profiles of businesses throughout Oregon.  Ecotrust serves as the Western Regional Lead for the National Farm to School Network.

Ecotrust’s Food and Farms website offers resources for farm to school programs and links schools with local farmers through their food hub webpage, which provides a catalog of buyers and sellers and profiles of businesses throughout Oregon.  Ecotrust serves as the Western Regional Lead for the National Farm to School Network.

http://www.ecotrust.org/foodfarms/