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Rural Hunger Solutions


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Best practices for addressing rural hunger from leading universities across the country.

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Rural Hunger Solutions

  2. 2. This book was made possible by the generous support of CoBank.
  4. 4. “ INTRODUCTION At The Campus Kitchens Project, we empower student volunteers across the country to recover one million pounds of food each year that would otherwise have gone to waste, and transform this food into nutritious, balanced meals for food insecure Americans. Since our founding in 2001, we have led the national movement against food waste and hunger, and we’re just getting started. Our student leaders know that all too often the “bread baskets” of America, the rural communities that grow our nation’s food supply, are disproportionately affected by hunger. There are unique challenges in these communities, such as transportation, access and infrastructure, that present a significant challenge to traditional food distribution models. While traditional models simply build more new warehouses and stack them sky-high with shelf-stable products, we know there is a more sustainable solution. In each of these communities, there already exists a school campus, with state of the art commercial kitchen space sitting dark in the evenings and on weekends, excess food, and eager student volunteers. By re-envisioning these resources in a new way, we can help rural Americans do what they do best: put lean, grassroots solutions to work for their own communities. One of the most powerful testaments to our work is our partnership with CoBank. Their focus on rural hunger, like ours, relies not only on the provision of nutritious meals today, but also on the creation of new and innovative programs that address the underlying root causes of hunger, from isolation to access, to break this cycle for good. Over the past two years, together with CoBank we have issued grants to some of the nation’s leading universities to pilot long-term programmatic solutions that address the problem of hunger in rural areas. In addition, CoBank has made a significant investment in helping more rural high schools, colleges and universities bring a Campus Kitchen to their school. In this report, we present the most promising innovations created in partnership with student leaders, universities and local service organizations, that we believe can be replicated in communities across the country to address rural hunger at its source. On behalf of our university partners, student volunteers, and the food insecure Americans we serve, we’d like to thank CoBank for their leadership, support and unwavering focus on addressing rural hunger by empowering the next generation through service. Laura Toscano Director, The Campus Kitchens Project 4
  5. 5. BACKGROUND Rural Hunger The Scale of the Issue Poverty in rural America is a critical issue that demands our attention. Over eight million people in rural areas live below the federal poverty level (1), and 46% of people in families with single mothers living in rural areas are poor, compared with only 27% in the suburbs (2). The issue is magnified in the rural South, which has consistently had the highest rate of poverty – 23%, compared to 17% of all rural areas (3). Poverty goes hand in hand with food insecurity. In the United States, 3.3 million rural families are food insecure, representing 17% of rural households (4). Rural areas also make up a disproportionate share of counties with the highest rates of food insecurity: of counties in the top ten percent for food insecurity, 54% are rural even though rural areas only make up 43% of all counties. This divide is even more striking for children, with rural counties accounting for 62% of those with the highest rates of childhood food insecurity. By comparison, metropolitan areas account for only 13% (5). Contributing Factors Rural areas make up America’s "bread basket," yet the abundance of fresh products that supply our food system does not always make its way into the hands of local consumers. Residents of rural counties have fewer food options than urbanites with only 14% the number of chain supermarkets, and fewer food retailers of any type (6). There are 418 rural counties considered to be “food deserts,” where all county residents live at least ten miles from the nearest supermarket, representing 20% of all rural counties (7). In some areas this challenge is particularly pronounced: in the Mississippi Delta, 70% of families eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program must travel at least 30 miles to get to a supermarket (8). Rural consumers who must resort to smaller local stores are confronted with a more limited food selection at higher prices (9). The lack of nearby, affordable options is compounded by economic challenges and the lack of public infrastructure in rural areas. Unemployment and underemployment are higher, jobs are concentrated in low-wage industries, education levels are lower, and there are fewer support services available, such as public transportation (10). Forty percent of rural counties do not provide public transportation, and in the 28% that do, service is limited (11). RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 5
  6. 6. “ Health Consequences Poor access to supermarkets has lasting effects on the health and well-being of rural communities. Decreased access to supermarkets and increased reliance on convenience stores results in diets that are less healthy, and in higher rates of obesity (12). Overall, rural residents eat fewer healthy foods like fruits and vegetables when compared to residents of urban and suburban areas (13). In rural areas the prevalence of obesity is 39.6% (compared to 33.4% in urban areas), and is still higher when controlling for diet, exercise and demographics (14). This trend persists among children living in rural communities, who are more overweight and have higher rates of obesity than urban children (15). Increasing Access to Healthy Foods Fortunately, students at colleges and universities across rural America are rising to the challenge, and creating replicable solutions to increase food access for food insecure individuals in their communities. The following toolkits demonstrate the power of harnessing the nation’s institutions of higher education as a “test kitchen” for innovative and sustainable solutions through service. We encourage other programs to use these best practices as a guide that can be adopted in other communities to continue the process of bridging gaps in food access among our most vulnerable populations. No one solution or program will end food insecurity, but by working together we have an incredible opportunity to learn from each other and experience the power of communities to solve these seemingly intractable problems. 6
  7. 7. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This toolkit of rural hunger solutions is made possible by a partnership between The Campus Kitchens Project and CoBank. Find other resources to address the root causes of hunger or learn how to start a Campus Kitchen in your community at www. The Campus Kitchens Project Founded in 2001, The Campus Kitchens Project is a national nonprofit organization that empowers student volunteers to create sustainable solutions to hunger and food waste in their community. On university and high school campuses across the country, students transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers markets into meals that are delivered to local agencies serving those in need. By taking the initiative to run a community kitchen, students develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills, along with a commitment to serve their community, that they will carry with them into future careers. Each Campus Kitchen goes beyond meals by using food as a tool to promote poverty solutions, implement garden initiatives, participate in nutrition education, and convene food policy events. To learn more about The Campus Kitchens Project, visit CoBank CoBank is a $126 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country. CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore. For more information about CoBank, visit the bank's web site at RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 7
  8. 8.
  9. 9. PROGRAM DESIGN Partners In 2000, Elon University purchased Loy Farm. The Campus Kitchen at Elon University (CKELON) uses the farm fresh produce that is harvested to prepare 240 meals each week for clients at Allied Churches and the Alamance County Community Services Agency, enhancing the nutritional content of the clients’ meals. Student leaders and program volunteers are able to learn about the harvesting cycle and Loy Farm hosts educational workshops. CKELON delivers grocery bags with additional produce to their client agency partners and leads nutrition presentations at their community partner sites. This intervention increases food access, improves nutrition literacy, reinforces the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and provides tangible skills to improve community nutrition through healthy lifestyle choices. Community-Based Solution In the state of North Carolina, nearly two million people are food insecure. Rural Alamance County is home to over 43,000 people, 17.9% of whom are food insecure. This number skyrockets in children: 27% of the county’s children are food insecure. In this county, grocery store access is a barrier to obtaining healthy food, with on average only 1.6 grocery stores per 10,000 residents. The county struggles with negative health outcomes from the food environment with diabetes and obesity rates at 9.9% and 28.8% respectively. The Issue LOY FARM PARTNERSHIP RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 9
  10. 10. GETTING STARTED Begin to connect with people on campus who might be interested in working with you to develop a campus farm or garden. Look into working with academic departments such as environmental studies, public health, nutrition, and agriculture. Have a discussion with your community partners to see how their needs can be met through the development of the community garden or farm. Form a committee and brainstorm where the farm or garden will be, the logistics of operating the farm, and potential funding resources. Research possible external grants. There are a number of grants surrounding community garden development available. Reach out to The Campus Kitchens Project to see what insights or resources they might be able to provide during the process. They also have internal grants you can apply for. Utilize your committee to draft a proposal to present to your institution’s administration. Think about and decide on the roles and responsibilities for maintaining the community garden or farm. Include highlights from your discussion with community partners in your proposal. Emphasize how this will address the community’s needs. Present your proposal to administrators after you have thoroughly planned the logistics of running the community garden or farm, identified available funds, and gathered supporters. Take their feedback and revise the proposal. Determine how you will evaluate your program and design evaulation tools. Implement your plan, which you have carefully designed with community input to be successful! KEEPING IT RUNNING Set up monthly check-in meetings to ensure that things are going well and correct any potential challenges. 15.7% FOOD INSECURITY RATE 17.9% POVERTY RATE ELON UNIVERSITY ALAMANCE COUNTY, NC Step by Step Implementation 10
  11. 11. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 11 MEASURING SUCCESS Communication is key: There are a lot of different important players in this program and communicating with them on a regular basis is essential to developing and maintaining a relationship. When building a partnership, it is important to be cognizant of everyone’s needs and wants. For example, the faculty need to be sure that their students are learning key academic content; CKELON and volunteers are interested in harvesting healthy produce that can be used in preparing nutritious meals. It’s important to work together to find commonalities and support one another’s needs. CKELON is able to help the farm staff by establishing work days out at the farm so that volunteers can help with general farm maintenance in addition to harvesting, and have helped fund projects on the farm that would not have been able to happen otherwise. In turn, Loy Farm staff help plan out how much produce is needed and what types of produce can be used in cooking shifts. Publicity is important: In the summer of 2015, Loy Farm was on the cover of the Elon Magazine. The article highlighted CKELON and has been bringing in great energy to the farm and consequently has opened up bigger conversations, including increasing the size of the farm from 1 to 5 acres. An increase in the size of the farm would allow for more community members to have access to free fresh produce. Turnover is a challenge: Staff change frequently in higher education and non-profits. Make sure you have a plan to maintain continuity in relationships between your team and other partners because it takes time to develop rapport. People are less invested when they do not know the people they are working with, and rebuilding relationships takes time. Lessons Learned “ “Loy Farm and the Campus Kitchen are a great match. Loy Farm provides an outlet for food grown as a result of course work, and student service volunteers with the Campus Kitchen distribute both cooked and fresh food to individuals and families in the local communities. The close synchronization of production and community needs means more effective community nutritional engagement and an opportunity for students to learn in subject areas, manage multiple “agencies” and serve their neighbors. - STEVE MOORE, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES LECTURER, ELON UNIVERSITY LOY FARM PARTNERSHIP
  12. 12. “ “ It is really important to eat healthy. I learned that you can eat fruits and vegetables instead of taking a vitamin pill/medication; they can help with asthma, cancer prevention, sleeping, etc. It is better to eat foods in season. I love meat but I’m going to start eating vegetables and fruits. - SENIOR CLIENT Knowing that sometimes the only meal someone gets a day is from us, we’re mindful and conscious about fresh produce, wellness and health benefits. - JAN BOWMAN, PROGRAM DIRECTOR OF ALLIED CHURCHES Impact 95% of students participating have an increased understanding of food insecurity and food waste 89% of senior workshop participants have a better understanding of the benefits of eating local food Outcomes 3,098 pounds of produce harvested 40 workshop participants 66 healthy meals delivered weekly 612 average number of clients served each month Outputs ResultsinYearOne 10 12
  13. 13. PROGRAM DESIGN Partners Community-Based Solution The Campus Kitchen at Minnesota State University Mankato (CKMNSU) is committed to transforming the food system in their rural community. Through the GROOV program they have built two community gardens to augment fresh vegetables in the meals they distribute in the community.OnegardenislocatedontheuniversitycampusandtheotherindowntownMankato. The raised beds stand at four feet tall, the perfect height to lean on while weeding and chatting with neighbors who stop by. The container gardens span the length of two community homes, gathering the attention of residents as well as passersby. Plants quite literally spill over the edge of the gardens, an effect that allows more growing space, easier access, and an aesthetic of virility and bounty. Having a community garden in these locations not only provides fresh food for the meals CKMNSU delivers, but also encourages community among the people who live in the neighborhoods where the gardens are planted. While the state of Minnesota saw only 11.2% of the population living below the poverty level in 2012, the town of Mankato is disproportionately affected by poverty, with 26% of the population below the poverty line. Poverty is connected to negative health outcomes and creates a need for creative solutions and interventions in the food system. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has indicated that in the surrounding Blue Earth County, 68% of adults and 23% of middle and high school students were overweight or obese in 2013. The Issue GARDENING RURAL OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY VOLUNTEERS (GROOV) RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 13
  14. 14. Step by Step Implementation GETTING STARTED Hire a fellow or recruit dedicated volunteers who will support the garden development. Work with community partners to create a planning team and identify garden sites. Meet with partners to plan out the garden timeline, including an installation date. Identify any fundraising needs or donation sources, such as local hardware stores. Design a community assessment tool to gauge baseline community nutrition attitudes and behaviors. Identify who will receive garden produce and how it can be incorporated into community meal programs. Have the soil tested to ensure safety and determine if augmentation is necessary. Meet with your nearest agricultural extension office to discuss plant types and how they will fit into culinary and nutrition education classes. Confirm garden designs with partners who own or operate the properties at the garden sites. Purchase and assemble materials for the gardens. Determine how you will evaluate your program and design evaulation tools. Schedule a volunteer day to build the gardens. KEEPING IT RUNNING Develop a volunteer schedule for planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. Once the garden is producing, schedule produce delivery and incorporate into meal planning. Create materials to share in the community meal distribution or community events to make people aware of the program. Organize nutrition education programs for children or adults at partner sites. Survey participants to learn about their changing habits as a result of the program. 12.3% FOOD INSECURITY RATE 17.9% POVERTY RATE MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY MANKATO BLUE EARTH COUNTY, MN 14
  15. 15. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS MEASURING SUCCESS Planning: set your goals in the beginning of your season so that you have an objective that every team member is aware of. Grow what your gardens can sustain, and research what is suitable for your climate and growing conditions, as well as what grows best in container gardens vs. in the ground. Make sure to grow produce items that will be useful for your meal service or grocery bag delivery program. Leadership: Build your team and delegate projects to involve student leaders in every step of the program. Have transparent leadership roles, be clear and concise, and share your plans with your team members. Everyone brings valuable assets to the table and we can achieve so much more if we use them! Communication: Conduct outreach on and off campus to build relationships with programs,like afterschool programs and HungerU. Working with many people requires organization and articulation of plans, including a transparent program and business model so that all partners are on the same page and working towards the same short and long-term goals. Lessons Learned GROOV started as a student initiative to support the Campus Kitchen Garden. Some students happen to enjoy gardening, and what better way to ‘get your hands dirty’ than to support the Campus Kitchen? - KAREN ANDERSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, MANKATO GARDENING RURAL OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY VOLUNTEERS (GROOV) “ “ 15
  16. 16. Outputs Outcomes Impact 50% of the children particpating spoke to their parents about eating healthy 100% of respondents recognized the health benefits of eating vegetables 40% of respondents indicated financial reasons keep them from obtaining produce, but now know sources to obtain fresh vegetables One major impact on our volunteers was teaching children at the Teresa House and Welcome Inn in downtown Mankato about the produce that was growing right outside their front door. Sharing their experiences with gardening and the outdoors with some children who might not have a lot of experience with adequate nutrition information or access to fresh produce was a really humbling experience and to be able to share the smell of a tomato plant or the buds of a squash was exciting. - MARA SOUPIR, STUDENT VOLUNTEER 134 clients receiving summer produce 70 pounds of produce harvested 27 volunteer hours “ “ The Garden at the Campus Kitchen at MSU, Mankato did offer a sense of community, as people would walk by and comment about the produce, methods of growing, etc. A request for the design plan was made, so that neighbors could build a similar raised bed for their parents. We believe this space will hold greater potential for increasing the sense of community as we consider it for a programming space in the future. - KAREN ANDERSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, MANKATO ResultsinYearOne 16
  17. 17. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 17 PROGRAM DESIGN The Campus Kitchen at St. Lawrence University (CKSLAW) has partnered with two teachers from the local K-12 school to lead Golden Bear Packs, which aims to address food insecurity, particularly on the weekend when children are not benefiting from the free meals that they receive on school days. Each Friday afternoon, 85 children take meal packs home to provide food for their families over the weekend, which otherwise would not be available. The program strengthens CKSLAW’s presence in the community, by expanding their reach from long-standing programs addressing older adults’ food insecurity, and reaching a wider audience of food insecure clients of all ages. St. Lawrence County is one of the most economically depressed counties in New York State, and is burdened by a lack of stable job opportunities, the economic downturn, and frigid winter temperatures that produce hefty heating bills, all of which increase the financial burdens of the community members. According to recent estimates, there are 5,850 food insecure children in this small geographic area, which translates to one out of every four children not having enough food. Seventy-five percent of children qualify for income eligible nutrition programs such as free or reduced-price meals. However, these programs only cover weekdays when children are in school, and do not extend to meet their needs at home over the weekend. Partners Community-Based Solution The Issue GOLDEN BEAR PACKS
  18. 18. 13.9% FOOD INSECURITY RATE 18.9% POVERTY RATE GETTING STARTED Identify schools with high rates of free and reduced-price meals. Meet with school staff, like principals, guidance counselors, and teachers to determine what the children need. Create a form that can be sent home in each child’s pack explaining the program and asking guardians to indicate if they are interested, along with any allergy information. Coordinate with school contacts to collect responses and identify the final (or estimated) number of participants. Identify food sources. Focus on providing fresh food options such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks like trail mix. If necessary, secure funding. Recruit volunteers to load and deliver packs by putting up flyers around campus, asking professors to speak about the program during their classes, or reaching out to community groups. Consider leading after school activities about healthy food to supplement the program and encourage healthy eating habits. Proactively communicate with program partners and stakeholders. Determine how you will evaluate your program and design evaulation tools. KEEPING IT RUNNING Deliver packs weekly. Coordinate with teachers to distribute the packs anonymously by placing them in children’s backpacks. Try having different volunteer groups participate from week to week to spread the word about food insecurity in your community. Periodically include surveys in the packs to assess changes in food security and healthy eating attitudes and behaviors. Consider also adding healthy recipes, or other informational newsletters. ST. LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, NY Step by Step Implementation 18
  19. 19. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 19 I first heard about Golden Bear Packs when I was taking a couple of sustainability oriented community-based learning classes... To me, The Campus Kitchens Project is a smart and sustainable solution to help fight food insecurity -- it just made sense that we would get involved in the local schools. - SEAN MORRISSEY, STUDENT VOLUNTEER MEASURING SUCCESS Community involvement: A connection to a school counselor is invaluable. This relationshipwillhelpyoutounderstandwhatneedsarepresentintheschool.Acounselor can also help with the logistics of dropping off food anonymously, food allergies among children and feedback from children and families. Coordination: It is crucial to properly coordinate the transportation of the food to the schools. If the food arrives too late, it may not be able to be used, wasting both monetary and food resources. Be discreet: Children can feel embarrassed that their families need assistance, so one thing the program should focus on is not bringing attention to the students receiving the Bear Packs. Lessons Learned GOLDEN BEAR PACKS “ “
  20. 20. Bear Packs helps to ensure that children have access to nutritious food over the weekend. - SEAN MORRISSEY, STUDENT VOLUNTEER Collaborating with the Campus Kitchen has been wonderful! The fresh veggies each week have been a wonderful addition to our program. Thank you for your time and effort; you are making a difference in the life of a child each and every week. - KELLEY GLASGOW, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COUNSELOR 80 hours of service 40 different volunteers 85 children served per week Impact Outputs “ “ ResultsinYearOne Outcomes The Golden Bear Packs program in still in progress. 20
  21. 21. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 21 PROGRAM DESIGN Partners The issue of hunger disproportionately affects children and seniors, so the Campus Kitchen at Troy University (CKTroy) has centered their efforts on engaging these populations through meal delivery and garden programming to increase food access. In Pike and Lowndes County, CKTroy has connected to community organizations that work with seniors and youth. The project includes four broad objectives focused on addressing rural hunger and increasing student civic engagement on food security efforts. Student volunteers use community gardens and milk crate container gardens to teach gardening practices, promoting access to healthy food and increasing activity levels for senior adults. CKTroy also offers direct programming, such as community meals, conversation programs, and gardening days to create intergenerational social capital among children, youth, college students and senior adults. Through these community initiatives, Troy University student participants have an increased understanding of civic responsibility, rural poverty and food insecurity. Community-Based Solution The poverty rate for Pike County, AL is 26.4% overall, with 33.5% of children and 16.5% of seniors living in poverty. In Lowndes County, AL the poverty rate is 31.4%, with 42.8% of children and 22.8% of seniors living below the federal poverty line. These rates mirror the levels of food insecurity in these communities, and in both cases the poverty and food insecurity rates are higher than state and national averages. The USDA has classified both Pike and Lowndes counties as Persistently Poor Rural Counties, with the state of Alabama ranking in the 15 states with the highest number of Persistently Poor Counties. The Issue COMMUNITY GARDEN PROJECT
  22. 22. GETTING STARTED Identify a faculty advisor, key staff, and volunteers. Develop community partnerships and program sites for garden(s) and nutrition education. Work with program sites to identify program needs. Educate volunteers on container garden operations and growth process. Identify and meet with community and agency leaders to gain support for the project. Raise awareness on campus by holding an event, such as a poverty simulation, to educate interested parties about poverty. Work with rural extension agents to enhance nutritional knowledge and build lesson plans for seniors and students. Determine how you will evaluate your program and design evaulation tools. Conduct a pilot program of container gardens at sites. Recruit student volunteers. Seek donations or purchase supplies. Make program adjustments based on pilot. Organize garden volunteer days to build container and traditional gardens. Recruit participants for nutrition education. Create a schedule for nutrition education and organize materials for volunteers. KEEPING IT RUNNING Maintain a volunteer schedule for ongoing garden maintenance and harvesting. Host a harvest celebration for students and seniors to provide the opportunity for reflection. 22.3% FOOD INSECURITY RATE 26.4% POVERTY RATE Step by Step Implementation TROY UNIVERSITY PIKE COUNTY, AL LOWNDES COUNTY,AL 31.4% POVERTY RATE 28.8% FOOD INSECURITY RATE 22
  23. 23. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 23 We started the program because a garden is a teaching tool and an opportunity for students to actively learn. Children are directly able to see where food comes from, how it grows, and what is required to produce food. Gardening provides a medium to discuss and teach healthy decision making, responsibility and ownership, while giving them a creative space to explore. - JONATHAN CELLON, COORDINATOR FOR SERVICE LEARNING & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, TROY UNIVERSITY MEASURING SUCCESS Differentiated learning: When administering gardening and nutrition programming to children, adolescents, and seniors, there are varying developmental levels. Learning how to best communicate each lesson to the different levels is key in ensuring the information is being received. Communication and expectations: It’s important to maintain regular contact with the various garden sites and volunteers. Establishing clear expectations before beginning the program and setting up regular communication with all invested parties will help meet program goals. Impact: Programs like this unite community members and students in a powerful way and have a positive impact on all involved. Lessons Learned “ “ COMMUNITY GARDEN PROJECT
  24. 24. 100% of children at the Boys & Girls Club increased their knowledge 23% average increase in knowledge for children My experience working with the kids, the garden, and the classes was overwhelming. It was super fun to learn WITH the kids! They made every bit worth it. This project reminded me why nutrition is so important and helped me understand that it doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s actually really fun! I can only hope the project continues so we can really impact our community. - STUDENT VOLUNTEER, CKTROY Impact Outcomes 53 total participants the Boys & Girls Club and College Dale Christian School 6 weekly lessons at the Boys & Girls Club and College Dale Christian School Outputs “ “ ResultsinYearOne 24
  25. 25. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 25 PROGRAM DESIGN The Issue Partners Since 2008, the Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College (CKGC) has worked with low-income seniors in rural Pennsylvania, especially those who are “shut in” due to a lack of mobility and transportation. CKGC has been involved for several years in Healthy Options, a program providing vouchers for adults and families to access fresh, local produce at Adams County Farm Fresh Markets. Now they are taking this concept one step further with Green Goodies by collecting, processing, and delivering seasonal produce to homebound senior citizens on Meals on Wheels delivery routes. The food that they provide increases the nutritional content of their clients’ meals, and is purchased from local farmers to support the local economy. Community-Based Solution Adams County is considered the "Fruit Belt" of the North, and is ranked first in PA and fourth in the nation for apple production, along with peach production. Despite the amount of food produced in the region, 9.5% of the population lives below the poverty line and qualifies for federal assistance programs. The number of residents eligible for SNAP almost doubled from about 4,000 individuals in 2008 to 7,700 individuals in 2014. About 11% of the county population is food insecure, while 25% of county children and senior citizens are food insecure. A county needs assessment, completed in 2012, found that 96% of Adams County adults do not consume enough fruits and vegetables daily. There is an abundance of produce grown in the county, but not nearly enough of it ends up in the hands of residents. Access to the produce is hindered by other expenses taking priority over food (housing, electricity, gas, water) and by limited means of transportation throughout the county. GREEN GOODIES
  26. 26. Step by Step Implementation GETTING STARTED Identify shut-in seniors interested in participating in the program. Work with partner farmers to determine cost and availability of produce for the program. Create a fundraising strategy to cover costs. Survey seniors about produce preferences. Have a list of all seasonal produce offered in your area based on your conversations with partner farmers. Schedule a day and time to pick up produce from the farmers at farmers markets. Recruit volunteers to assemble produce bags and deliver. Identify a day and time for delivery. Design evaulation tools. Distribute a pre-program survey for participants. Communicate with partner farmers weekly to see what is available for the current delivery. Order accordingly, taking client preferences into account. Pickup, assemble, deliver produce bags, and spend time with clients. KEEPING IT RUNNING Continue to recruit and train volunteers. Conduct a post-program survey for participants to measure outcomes, including how often they are able to obtain fresh produce, how it is being used and how often they feel they are eating healthy meals. Secure ongoing funding or maintain partnerships. 10.3% FOOD INSECURITY RATE 9.5% POVERTY RATE GETTYSBURG COLLEGE ADAMS COUNTY, PA 26
  27. 27. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 27 Lessons Learned Food access and security can be particularly severe in rural areas according to FDA reports. The environment, combined with the elderly, particularly the home-bound or low-mobility, created a hot spot for the Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg to target. Buying produce from local Adams County farmers to transport to the most at-risk residents via Meals on Wheels was logical, supporting the community that supports us as we create a nutrition safety net. - BEAU CHARLES, STUDENT VOLUNTEER “ “ MEASURING SUCCESS Making connections: Connecting with current community partners and utilizing existing infrastructure is very helpful in implementing the Green Goodies program. Know your community: Connect with senior citizens to gather their preferences for types of fruits and vegetables and then package custom bags of produce. By doing this, your program can better meet individual needs and ensure that less food is wasted. Build relationships: Delivering to seniors on existing Meals on Wheels routes allows volunteers to connect over conversation and feedback. In order to increase the interaction with Green Goodies recipients, students can go door to door at the beginning of the summer to gather preferences and start to build relationships. GREEN GOODIES
  28. 28. 28 Outputs Impact “ “ The Green Goodies bags allowed me to eat healthier meals. - GREEN GOODIES PARTICIPANT The Green Goodies Bags of seasonal produce provide a wonderful nutritional boost for our home-delivered meal consumers. The meal our office provides meets the 1/3 RDA requirements, but relies on frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, so the fresh produce is a real treat. Because our consumers are mostly homebound, having the items delivered to their door is another great help. People look forward to the packages each week and have told us they re-arrange appointments just to be sure they are home when their goodie bags arrive! - LINDA THOMPSON, COMMUNITY SERVICES COORDINATOR, ADAMS COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING, INC 100% would like to participate in the Green Goodies program should it be offered in the future 87% are able to eat fruits and vegetables more than 4 times per week (up from 36% before the program) 91% are able to eat healthier meals since receiving the Green Goodies bags Outcomes 1,497 pounds of produce recovered 300 bags of produce delivered 30 older adults served ResultsinYearOne
  29. 29. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 29 PROGRAM DESIGN Researchlinksolderadults'socialbehaviorswitheatingbehaviorsandshowsthat,ingeneral, people tend to eat more in the presence of others. To target social isolation, Lunch Buddy pairs a socially isolated older adult, or “buddy”, with a Campus Kitchen at UGA (CKUGA) student to share a weekly lunch-time meal together. Pairing an older adult with a volunteer provides an opportunity for social interaction and serves as the link the older adult needs to connect to their community and area resources. Furthermore, having a “buddy” during lunch increases the amount of food consumed by the older adult, which will improve overall nutrition. Volunteers also gain exposure to older adults and awareness of the challenges faced by this population. The impact of the program is evaluated through a pre- and post- survey that asks the seniors questions related to their food intake and mental and physical health, and has demonstrated the effectiveness of Lunch Buddy in promoting health and well being. As many as 17% of older adults are considered socially isolated. Research indicates that this has as significant of an effect on food security as poverty does.Ruralseniorsaredisproportionatelyaffectedbysocialisolationbecause of their location. The surrounding areas outside the Athens perimeter are less populated and are physically further from the service and cultural center of the region, providing additional challenges to rural residents. THE CAMPUS KITCHEN at the UNIVERSITY of GEORGIA SM Partners Community-Based Solution The Issue LUNCH BUDDY
  30. 30. GETTING STARTED Gather academic research to inform and support the program. Identify agencies that can screen and refer isolated older adults to an intergenerational exchange program. Secure a food provider for client meals or a kitchen that caters to the dietary needs of older adults and offers to-go options. Find your volunteers. Lunch Buddy volunteers need to be genuinely interested in the relationship they have with their Buddy. CKUGA asks that the volunteer be willing to commit for at least 3 months’ worth of visits. KEEPING IT RUNNING Set clear volunteer responsibilities and train volunteers to comply with an agency’s client confidentiality policy, and to set boundaries in a Lunch Buddy relationship in order to protect the client. Equip your volunteers. Training tools are a must and should be a complement to any volunteer paperwork required by a partner agency. Make sure volunteers have both an ID badge and a “business card” that the volunteer leaves with the Buddy to remind them of their visit. Develop your monitoring and evaluation tools. Evaluation tools should measure the outcomes for both clients and volunteers. Create a monitoring system that allows a staff member to track how a Lunch Buddy relationship is going in addition to one-on-one check-ins with staff. 21.7% FOOD INSECURITY RATE 37.8% POVERTY RATE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA CLARKE COUNTY, GA Step by Step Implementation 30
  31. 31. When we talk about food insecurity, there are so many causes. Isolation can lead to a host of mental illnesses. Our research found that older adults were not eating as they should, and we wanted to reach people not integrated in the community or attending a senior daycare program. The ultimate goal of Lunch Buddy became to model behavior of good eating habits for older adults. - NATHALIE CELESTIN, AMERICORPS VISTA AT UGA MEASURING SUCCESS Seek out partnerships: When looking to add new clients, it’s helpful to partner with agencies that already have established relationships with seniors, like Meals on Wheels. These agencies can provide you with names and insights into individuals who are facing social isolation. Establishguidelines:Whenimplementingsharedprogramsbetweentwoormoreagencies, set clear reporting guidelines and responsibilities. When transferring leadership and responsibilities within your organization, clearly communicate the reporting requirements and how the outcomes are being tracked, particularly with shared programs. Store Buddy’s address or profile information in a secure location, which can be a huge help in tracking participation. Volunteer recruitment: Not everyone is right to be a Lunch Buddy volunteer. The strategy of the Lunch Buddy program at CKUGA and the Athens Community Council on Aging is to not actively recruit volunteers, but rather to wait for students who have a genuine interest to contact the program. Lessons Learned LUNCH BUDDY “ “ RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 31
  32. 32. 32 It made me feel good having someone who cares about me. - PAULINE GORDON, SENIOR LUNCH BUDDY Outputs This has been an incredibly eye opening and enjoyable experience. I have always appreciated and admired elders, but I have developed a newfound outlook after volunteering for this program! - CASON PARKS, UGA STUDENT Outcomes Impact 435 volunteer hours 290 Lunch Buddy visits 100% of seniors felt they had a meaningful relationship with others 88% of volunteers felt they had a meaningful relationship with their senior 83% of seniors felt more connected to the community since receiving visits from their Lunch Buddy “ “ ResultsinYearOne
  33. 33. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 33 The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee University (CKWL) developed a Mobile Food Pantry that distributes grocery bags of fresh produce and nonperishable food items to remote areas of Rockbridge County. They transport food via a refrigerated truck to three communities; Buena Vista, Goshen, and Natural Bridge Station. The Mobile Food Pantry is creating an accessible opportunity for rural community members, especially those who have difficulty accessing traditional food assistance. The Mobile Food Pantry fills this gap in service with new infrastructure, adapting to the difficulties of providing essential services in rural areas. In the 2008 Rockbridge Poverty Assessment, transportation emerged as the number one challenge faced by impoverished and traditionally underserved communities in the Rockbridge area. Rockbridge County is a large county yet it lacks a reliable and affordable public transportation system, and the cost of gas was identified in a 2013 report by the Rockbridge Area Relief Association as a barrier to accessing the traditional brick-and-mortar food pantry in Lexington, VA. Community-Based Solution MOBILE FOOD PANTRY The Issue THE CAMPUS KITCHEN at WASHINGTON SM and LEE UNIVERSITY PROGRAM DESIGN Partners
  34. 34. 34 Step by Step Implementation GETTING STARTED Meet with community partners: churches, fire departments, local organizations addressing food insecurity, community service organizations, health care and public health services. Develop a Mobile Food Pantry Committee of invested community members to be the sounding board for decisions. Work with community partners to identify volunteer vehicles or ideally a refrigerated truck that can be reserved or donated. Choose delivery sites that are central to the greatest number of food insecure clients. Start at one site, and gradually expand to others. Solicit feedback on how to best modify the pantry for each community. Create a guidebook with general guidelines as well as best practices from established pantries. Determine how you will evaluate your program and design evaulation tools. Advertise to churches, newspapers, and campus news to recruit clients and volunteers. KEEPING IT RUNNING Establish regular leadership team shifts. Sort food donations to pick out items that could be used for pantry. Assign a point person on each delivery day to supervise packing up vehicles, and manage volunteers on site. Conduct food drives and fundraisers to sustain ongoing resources. Apply for grants to purchase supplemental food and other necessary items (gas, advertisements, etc.). WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VA 13% POVERTY RATE 10.4% FOOD INSECURITY RATE
  35. 35. RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 35 Lessons Learned Software (or technology): CKWL invested in a broadcast calling software, that sends a broadcast call to everyone who signed up for the Pantry to remind them of upcoming deliveries. This simple fix greatly benefited and stabilized the Mobile Food Pantry Operations by increasing consistent participation, and decreasing the time that volunteers needed to wait at each site. Meal Planning: By achieving consistent participation numbers, the program is able to more accurately plan the correct amount of food for each site. MOBILE FOOD PANTRY The Mobile Food Pantry is the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee’s vision to reduce barriers to service for members of the community who experience food insecurity. We started the program in an effort to better serve folks living on the margins. - JENNY DAVIDSON, CO-CURRICULAR SERVICE COORDINATOR, WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY “ “ MEASURING SUCCESS
  36. 36. 36 At our last distribution to the Goshen Public Library on May 15th, the Librarian pulled me aside to tell me of an anonymous call she had received from a woman who received a bag previously that afternoon and then got home to actually look in it - and was amazed and brought to tears by the amount and quality of food that was in the bag. - JENNY DAVIDSON, CO-CURRICULAR SERVICE COORDINATOR, WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY Outputs This is a wonderful service to have in our small town. I am thankful for each item and wish there was a way to let the volunteers know how much of a difference they make. - MOBILE FOOD PANTRY PARTICIPANT Outcomes Impact 620 individuals served 230 families served 1,000 pounds of food distributed per month 3 program sites 70% were able to eat healthier foods as a result of the program 90% feel the program had a positive effect on their lives 97% would recommend it to a friend “ “ ResultsinYearOne
  37. 37. REFERENCES 1. Strickhouser S, Wright JD, Donley AM (2014). Food Insecurity Among Older Adults. Report Submitted to AARP Foundation. ( Insecurity-2015Update-Final-Report.pdf) 2. Ziliak JP, Gundersen C (2015). The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report. Report Submitted to the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). ( America-2013.pdf) 3. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration on Aging. Future Growth. 2013. Accessed on 8/28/2015. 4. Social Security Administration. Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2012. Washington, DC, 2011. ( 2012%20508%20PDF.pdf) 5. Ziliak JP, Gundersen C (2014). The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2010 NHANES. Report Submitted to the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). ( 6. Elder K, Retrum J (2012). Framework for Isolation in Adults Over 50. Report Developed by ResearchWorks for AARP Foundation. ( Foundation-Isolation-Framework-Report.pdf) 7. Ziliak JP, Gundersen C, Haist M (2008). The Causes, Consequences, and Future of Senior Hunger in America. Report by the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research for the Meals on Wheels Association of America Foundation. 8. Steptoe A, Shankar A, Demakakos P, Wardle J (2013). Social isolation, loneliness, and all-cause mortality in older men and women. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 9; 110(15): 5797-5801. ( 9. Vesnaver E, Heller HH (2011). Social influences and eating behavior in later life: a review. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2011; 30(1):2-23. ( 10. Walker D, Beauchene RE (1991). The relationship of loneliness, social isolation, and physical health to dietary adequacy of independently living elderly. J Am Diet Assoc. 1991 Mar;91(3):300-4. ( 11. Frongillo EA, Horan CM (2004). Hunger and Aging. Generations 2004; 28(3): 28-33. ( 12. Vidgen H, Gallegos D (2012). Defining food literacy, its components, development and relationship to food intake: A case study of young people and disadvantage. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland. ( 13. AARP Foundation (2015). Findings on Nutrition Knowledge and Food Insecurity Among Older Adults. KRC Research study for AARP Foundation. ( knowledge-and-food-insecurity-among-older-adults) RURAL HUNGER SOLUTIONS 37
  38. 38. 14. Greer B, Poling R (2002). Impact of participating in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program on food insecurity. Mississippi State: Mississippi State University, Southern Rural Development Center. Retrieved August 30, 2015. ( 15. Eicher-Miller HA, Mason AC, Abbott AR, McCabe GP, Boushey CJ (2009). The Effect of Food Stamp Nutrition Education on the Food Insecurity of Low-income Women Participants. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 2009; 41(3) 161-168. ( 16. Dollahite J, Olson C, Scott-Pierce M. The Impact of Nutrition Education on Food Insecurity among Low-Income Participants in EFNEP. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. 2003;32, 127-39. Nutrition%20Education%20EFNEP.pdf 17. Koszewski W, Sehi N, Behrends D, Tuttle E (2011). The Impact of SNAP-ED and EFNEP on Program Graduates 6 Months After Graduation. Journal of Extension. 2011; 49. 18. Burney J, Haughton B (2002). EFNEP: A nutrition education program that demonstrates cost-benefit. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 2002;102, 39-45. 19. Wolfe WS, Frongillo EA, Valois P. (2003). Understanding the experience of food insecurity by elders suggests ways to improve its measurement. J. Nutr. 133:2762-2769, 2003. ( 20. Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well- Being. Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. June 2012. ( data/2012_documents/docs/entirechartbook.pdf) 21. Neckerman KM, Bader M, Purciel M, Yousefzadeh P (2009). Measuring Food Access in Urban Areas, National Poverty Center Working Paper. February 2009. ( 22. Wood DK, Shultz JA, Butkus SN, Ballejos ME (2009). Patterns of Food Coping Strategies Among Food Pantry Clients. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2009 May: 4(2)185-202. ( Strategies_Among_Food_Pantry_Clients) 23. United States Department of Agriculture. Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences. Report to Congress, June 2009. ( 24. Food Research and Action Center. Access and Access Barriers to Getting Food Stamps: A Review of the Literature. Food Research and Action Center, 2008. ( 25. Ziliak JP, Gundersen C (2009). Senior Hunger in the United States: Differences across states and rural and urban areas. Report by the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research for the Meals on Wheels Association of America Foundation. ( 38 Placeholder
  39. 39. Using Existing Resources to fight hunger today We use existing assets, including recovered food, existing commercial kitchens, and passionate student volunteers to provide our clients with a balanced meal. Going Beyond the Meal to increase food security tomorrow Our students develop innovative programs that address the underlying root causes of hunger, from nutrition education, to community gardens, to anti-isolation programs for seniors. Developing Student Leaders to solve the systemic problem for the next generation THE CAMPUS KITCHENS PROJECT CORE VALUES