Engaging Community to Improve Healthy Neighborhood Food Options


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This presentation makes the case for healthy, community-based retail solutions to food access. Examples include the Dill Pickle Food and Sugar Beet co-ops in Illinois.

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  • Together the high cost and limited availability of healthy foods in many low-income and inner city neighborhoods have made it difficult for many households to regularly consume fresh produce and wholegrain foods. The following four projects highlight different strategies of connecting community members and eaters with healthy and local foods
  • Sharon – talk about how we worked with Milwaukee County Extension to identify the players. Wanted to do our preliminary community engagement work in Milwaukee (because it is close, and we could test out our methodology) Wanted to work in South side of Milwaukee because it appeared that there were significantly fewer community food initiatives there Wanted to work with the Latino community because it appeared that community was less engaged in community food workCRFS: Improving food security in urban areas through community food system innovationResearch, Outreach, Education, Advocacy, Community EngagementPartnerships with community organizations in seven citiesHow the collaboration group decided to support the initiativeMany meetings to determine shared valuesCommitment to Collection Impact: working together to bring different perspectives to the tableRecognizing the contribution of each organization at the tableStarting smallOrganizations in collaboration with the community
  • LelitzaChallenge: How to recruit and involve store owners in the campaign?Collaboration approach: ‘sell sheet’Working with store owners to come up with community outreach/demonstrations that work for them
  • Hand out sell sheets and discuss briefly
  • Tatiana
  • Lelitza –Hand out the recipe
  • Tatiana - All the volunteers felt confident- 151 surveys were received- Shoppers were hesitant to answer survey & our own capacity limited the number- Most of shoppers enjoyed the food demonstrations. Some bought the food, wanted more materials, more foods. Not many suggestions given in the surveys.- There was a difference between the two stores: Pete’s had more space; they worked to make the demonstrations more visible. More people were able to taste the foods because there were 3 small tables. The demonstration space was crowded at El Rey. - Both Store owners agreed that the project in general went very well- not really suggestions for improvement; they thought food demos were well done and attracted customers and sales. El Rey will expand new products in all its stores and will have a staff kitchen receiving education from Tatiana and will be doing food demos 3-times a week. Pete’s in the other hand wants to work in partnership with a local high school that has a huge commercial kitchen ready to do community cooking classes.
  • Issue of collaboration: open up to group discussionImportance of working with the community- the people who is lastly and primarily affected- community needs to be at the forefront- not just getting feedback from them, but mainly having them on the negotiations table.
  • Engaging Community to Improve Healthy Neighborhood Food Options

    2. 2. The Challenge 29.7 million people in the US live in low-income areas more than 1 mile from a supermarket. Low-income zip codes have 25 percent fewer chain supermarkets and 30 percent more convenience stores compared to middle-income zip codes. Nearly two dozen studies have found income and racial disparities in food access: food stores in low-income communities and communities of color are less likely to stock healthy food, offer lower quality items, and have higher prices compared to store in white and mid-high income areas. Nearly one-third of the U.S. population is transportation disadvantaged and cannot easily access basic transportation to purchase food, get to work, or take care of other basic personal and family needs. Over the past 20 years—with more than 130 studies completed—most researchers have found that people who live in neighborhoods with better access to healthy food also have better nutrition and better health.
    3. 3. Making the Case for Healthy, Community- based Retail Solutions to Food Access Better Access Corresponds with Healthier Eating Access to Healthy Food Is Associated with Lower Risk for Diet- related Diseases Economic Impacts Healthy Food Retail Creates Jobs Healthy Food Retail Increases nearby Property Values Healthy Food Retail Contributes Food and Profits to Community Healthy Food Retail Brings Federal Dollars to the Local Economy www.healthyfoodaccess.org
    4. 4. A grocery created, stocked, and governed by you! Obligatory “What Is A Co-op?” InfoA business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. A cooperative is defined by theInternational Cooperative Alliances Statement on the Cooperative Identity as "an autonomous association of persons unitedvoluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through jointly owned and democraticallycontrolled enterprise". Also defined as a business owned and controlled equally by the people who use its services or by thepeople who work there. Organization of people who A business, which needs to be profitable and viable. Owned and operated bya group of individuals for their mutual benefit. Co-ops are NOT non-profits. Profits are either reinvested in the co-op or givenback to all member-owners via a patronage rebate, which is based on the amount that any member-owner has spent in the store.Community hubs that allow member-owners to support a local business that operates according to a system of shared values.Democracies in that all members have a voice in making decisions for the co-op: One member, one vote. Yadda yadda yadda.
    5. 5. Why Co-ops Rule & Conventionals DroolSupporting Local Food Systems and Sustainable Foods• Conventional grocers work with an average of 65 local farmers and food producers, food co-ops work with an average of 157.• Locally sourced products make up an average of 20 percent of co-op sales compared to 6 percent at conventional stores.• Of produce sales at food co-ops, 82 percent are organic, compared to 12 percent for conventional grocers. And, organics make up 48 percent of grocery sales in food co-ops, compared to just 2 percent in conventional grocers.Local Economic Impact• Food co-ops purchase from local farmers who, in turn, buy supplies from local sources, hire local technicians to repair equipment, and purchase goods and services from local retailers.• For every $1,000 a shopper spends at their local food co-op, $1,604 in economic activity is generated in their local economy—$239 more than if they had spent that same $1,000 at a conventional grocer.• Co-ops give 13 percent of their income to charity, compared to just four percent donated by conventional stores• 38 percent of co-ops’ revenue is spent locally, compared to 24 percent in local spending at conventional storesEmployee Benefits• The average co-op earning $10 million per year in revenue provides jobs for over 90 workers. In total, 68 percent of those workers are eligible for health insurance, compared to 56 percent of employees at conventional grocers.• Co-op employees earn more ($14.31 per hour) than conventional store employees ($13.35) when bonuses and profit- sharing are included• Co-ops spend 19 percent of their revenue on local wages and benefits, compared to 13 percent at conventional storesEnvironmental Stewardship• Co-ops recycle 96 percent of cardboard, 74 percent of food waste and 81 percent of plastics compared to 91 percent, 36 percent and 29 percent, respectively, recycled by conventional grocers.• Co-ops recycle at a higher rate than conventional stores, waste less food, and have an average Energy Star score that is 32 points higher than conventional stores.Source: Healthy Foods Healthy Communities: The Social and Economic Impacts of Food Co-ops, National Co-operative Grocers Association, August 2012.
    6. 6. Congratulations…..It’s a Gherkin!Chicago co-op historyHyde Park Co-op 1932-2008Oldest consumer food co-op in the countryChicago radical historyNamed after the Dil Pickle Club (1917-1935)Speakeasy, cabaret, theatre, forum for freethinkers – Bughouse Square debates.Dill Pickle Food Co-opBegan organizing in Jan 2005. Doors opened in Dec. 2009 with 500 members.Initial opening budget approximately $150,000. Completely member-owner financed.FY2012 sales: $1.46 million. Sales have grown every year since opening.1243 members.
    7. 7. WHERE DOES MONEY COME FROM? HOW DOES MONEY GET SPENT?MEMBERSHIP EQUITY SUPPLIERS- Everyone pays - Local/regional farmers &- Scholarships available producers- 1 member 1 vote - Larger grocery distributors (Democracy only thing not for sale at DPFC) STAFF - 13 employees, 11 FTE nowSTORE SALES - Have employed 22 people- Gross income from sales - GM must ensure fair wages ~$1.4M last yr and access to health coverage for FT employeesFUNDRAISING- For dedicated and special OTHER BUSINESS EXPENSES projects - Utilities Dill Pickle Prom > capital - Staff development for move - MarketingPRE-OPENING- Member equity HOO VOLUNTEER PROGRAM- Member loans - Help keep labor costs down;- Fundraising more important, keeps- TIF/SBIF funding members involved
    8. 8. So, What’s Next for the Pickle?2011 Logan Square Chamber of Commerce 2011 New Business Award2012 Chicago Reader ―Best of 2012‖ Best Local Grocery2013 World domination? Nah, EVEN BETTER...more room for all this!
    9. 9. WHAT IS THE SUGAR BEET CO-OP? • a full-service community grocery store • a nonprofit organization • a center for sharing and learning • a commercial kitchen and incubator for food entrepreneurs • a vibrant market for farmers and producers • a community table for eating and celebrating together
    11. 11. OUR FIRST YEAR ORGANIZATION• incorporated with the State • outreach events• developed a strong board • community forums• mission statement • farmers market• 501c3 app./ fiscal agency • working groups• attended conferences • programming• established a brand and • partnered with organizations marketing strategy • blogs, social media• business plan • newsletter, website• developed membership and • networking capital campaign • public service
    14. 14. 2013: THE SUGAR BEET GROWS • sell 600 memberships by July 2013 • community events, coffees, outreach • achieving nonprofit status • continue programming • develop new working groups • unite new members • apply for grants and other funding • feasibility and market studies • approach banks and members for loans • lease a site and begin construction
    15. 15. A program of Walnut Way Conservation Corporation
    16. 16. Introduction Our goal is to increase access to  Corner Stores are abundant in fresh foods by helping corner Lindsay Heights stores sell quality fresh fruits and  The Lindsay Heights Healthy vegetables Corner Store Initiative was born with the combined efforts of Walnut We are a dynamic group of Way the Milwaukee Health community partners that bring Department, the Medical College together the rich assets of our of Wisconsin, and Alices Garden neighborhood  We are in year 2 of a two-year pilot grant funded in part by the The work began more than two Healthier Wisconsin Partnership years ago when community Program to work with three stores members convened at Walnut Way to discuss how to improve healthy food access in their neighborhood
    17. 17. Strategies1. Community Outreach and Marketing We mobilize youth to provide leadership in growing and marketing vegetables for the stores2. Distribution We support store owners in identifying fresh food distributors3. Infrastructure Participating stores are provided $2,500 stipends towards infrastructure improvements (e.g. new coolers, label machines, etc.)
    18. 18. Lessons Learned Barriers SuccessesComplex realities of owning a store Building relationships with store ownersInfrastructure/equipment costs Partnering with local restaurantCooperation with property owners supply company Working with our neighbors inNavigating City Departments Washington Park to learn from their neighborhood standards in order to create our own Developing relationships with city of Milwaukee regulatory agencies
    19. 19. HEALTHY GROCERY STORE CAMPAIGN Transforming the environment from the Community and Up Good Food Festival & Conference Chicago, IL March 15, 2013Tatiana Maida- 16th Street Community Health Centers
    20. 20. Healthy Choices Program “Through family education and community advocacy, Healthy Choices strives to improvethe home and neighborhood environment for adults and children in Milwaukee’s Southside‖
    21. 21. Community Advocacy Group Increase healthy food access Increase access to safe parks and streets Expand education and physical activity
    22. 22. Healthy Grocery Store Initiative NEMS Nutritional Environmental Assessment Studies 2010 and 2012 Great variety and price for fruits and vegetables Latino supermarkets offered fewer healthy options and, with the exception of fruits and vegetables, the healthy items were more expensive. Community group wanted…
    23. 23. Project Partners
    24. 24. Approaching Grocery Store OwnersErnesto PeteVillarreal Tsitiridis
    25. 25. Marketing
    26. 26. Food Demonstrations & Recipe Handouts
    27. 27. Evaluation & Next Steps Customers enjoyed/purchased food items Marketing materials (shelf talkers and posters) were not visible All partners considered project was successful El Rey: education and cooking training to kitchen staff (food demos and deli expansion) Pete’s: cooking classes project with a local school conducted by community leaders
    28. 28. Conclusions Dream big: be positive and change will come Have a clear vision and share it Collaboration leads to a more comprehensive project with different perspectives Learn how to overcome challenges (different perspectives) The community voice is critical and should come first
    29. 29. Panel Discussion and Q & AKathleen Duffy, Dill Pickle Food Co-ophttp://dillpickle.coop/Cheryl Muñoz Sugar Beet Co-ophttp://sugarbeetcoop.com/Alex Barnett, Walnut Wayhttp://www.walnutway.org/Tatiana Maida, 16th Street Health ClinicTatiana.Maida@sschc.orghttp://sschc.org/healthy-choices-elecciones-saludables/Lindsey Day Farnsworth, UW Community & Regional Food Systems Projectwww.community-food.org, www.cias.wisc.edu