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Hunger-Free & Healthy Project Final Presentation


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Hunger-Free & Healthy Project Final Presentation

  1. 1. A Project of the Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Council 2007 – 2011 Hunger-Free & Healthy Reducing Hunger, Increasing Healthy Food Access
  2. 2. Purpose  Celebrate the work and collaboration of the past five years.  Provide indicators of success (to date). Final report – February 2012.
  3. 3. Background  Project of the Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Council.  Funded through the Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative of the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.  Planned in 2007, piloted in 2008 and has been in its implementation phase since 2009.  Completion 2011-2012.
  4. 4. Overview 1. Support and advocate for the increased availability of nutritious and locally grown foods in Worcester Public Schools (WPS). 2. Improve access to healthy affordable foods in low- income and underserved communities. 3. Increase opportunities for youth and adults to reconnect with their food through cooking and gardening. 4. Increase knowledge and awareness of community food security, hunger and inequities in the food system, as well as strategies to solve problems locally. 5. Ensure the sustainability of the project components. Hunger-Free & Healthy is a collaborative project that aims to reduce hunger and food insecurity in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. The primary strategy goals are to:
  5. 5. Steering Committee  Congressman McGovern’s Office  The Health Foundation of Central MA  Project Bread  Regional Environmental Council  Saint Vincent Hospital  UMass Medical School  UMass Memorial  United Way of Central MA  Worcester County Food Bank  Worcester Dept. of Transitional Assistance  Worcester Public Schools
  6. 6. Essential Partners  Catholic Charities  Cooking Matters/Share Our Strength  Centro Las Americas  Edward M. Kennedy Health Center  Family Health Center of Worcester  Jeremiah’s Inn  Mass in Motion  Mass. Public Health Association  Pioneering Healthier Communities • Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center • Worcester Community Action Council • Worcester Department of Public Health • Worcester Housing Authority • Worcester School Committee members • Worcester State University • YMCA of Central MA • YWCA of Central MA
  7. 7. Project Strategies 1. Improving school meals in Worcester Public Schools; 2. Increasing the SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) participation rate; 3. Establishing farmers’ markets in low-income areas of the city; 4. Increasing the number of school gardens in Worcester Public Schools; 5. Offering free nutrition-based cooking classes to low- income families and teens; 6. Increasing communication and collaboration among organizations, individuals and institutions involved in this work; 7. Advocating for policies and systems change that supports this work; 8. Securing on-going funding and support for project
  8. 8. School Meals  Why?  2005 census showing us that in the 14 low-income tracts in Worcester, 1 in 3 children lived in a household that at times did not have enough food.  Children get up to two-thirds of their calorie intake in schools and it is important that those calories be healthy and nutrient-dense. Project Bread, 2006.  WPS feeds around 15,800 student lunches, 9,500 breakfasts, and 1,400 snacks each day at 60 different school sites.  Meal participation rate is at about 70% and roughly 72% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
  9. 9. School Meals Our Focus:  Universal Breakfast Program  Now in 16 schools, all have 80% or more Free/Reduced eligible students.  General Support & Advocacy  Locally grown produce  Improvements to the healthfulness of the school meals program and snack programs.
  10. 10. School Meals With this community support, the School Nutrition Director has:  Increased the number of schools participating in the Universal Breakfast program, bringing the total to 16.  Increased the number of schools participating in the Get Fresh, Get Local snack program, bringing the total participating schools from 4 to 10.  Modified her contract with Preferred Meals to require them to purchase locally when in season, provide fresh fruit and vegetables at least four days per week, and ensure that 90% of bread products are whole grain.  Diversified her procurement to incorporate more local vendors and more nutritious foods.  Advocated for Garelick Farms to remove high fructose corn syrup from their flavored milk lines.
  11. 11. School Meals In addition, Hunger-Free & Healthy has:  Participated in the School Health Council subcommittee to revise and update the district Wellness Policy.  Advocated for the passage of the School Nutrition Bill. This legislation also increased the limits of purchasing locally, allowing school districts to develop contracts of up to $25,000 per farm.
  12. 12. SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) Why?  Crucial for low-income families to establish food security.  In 2004, of the estimated 659,000 Food Stamp eligible people living in Massachusetts, 49% were enrolled in SNAP; this statistic ranked Massachusetts as one of the poorest performing states in SNAP participation.
  13. 13. SNAP April 2009 – August 2011 Number of applications submitted 493 Average approval rating 62% Average benefit procured $185/month Total benefits: 2009 (May – Dec) 2010 2011 (through August) $76,764.00 $89,868.00 $86,677.00 Race/Ethnicity White Black Hispanic/Latino Asian Unknown/Other 38.5% 8.6% 36.0% 2.2% 14.2% Children served 261
  14. 14. SNAP
  15. 15. SNAP
  16. 16. SNAP
  17. 17. SNAP  Increasing number of applicants, contacts and site visits over time.  Approval rating has stayed steady.  Cumulative benefits increases yearly.  Increasing improvement in reaching minority communities (specifically Black and Latino)  More children reached each year.  Massachusetts has risen to 8th in the nation in SNAP participation rates, with nearly 77.6% of eligible households participating in the program.
  18. 18. Farmers’ Markets  Why?  Low-income neighborhoods in Worcester have more food insecurity, higher rates of diet-related disease, less access to fresh foods.  Existing farmers’ markets were not in low-income areas and did not accept SNAP benefits.
  19. 19. Farmers’ Market  Main South Farmers’ Market  Piloted 2009, Full season 2010, 2011  Great Brook Valley Farmers’ Market  Full season 2010, 2011  Transitioned to mobile market in Sept. 2011
  20. 20. Farmers’ Market $0 $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 $20,000 $25,000 $30,000 $35,000 2009 Total Sales 2010 Total Sales 2011 Total Sales TotalSales Year Total Sales 2009 - 2011
  21. 21. Farmers’ Market $- $2,000.00 $4,000.00 $6,000.00 $8,000.00 $10,000.00 $12,000.00 $14,000.00 Saletotal Year SNAP, WIC, Senior Coupon Sales 2009 2010 2011
  22. 22. Farmers’ Market 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Eat more fruits and vegetables because of the market Prices are lower or the same as the grocery stores Shop weekly or monthly at the market PercentageResponse Survey Highlights 2010
  23. 23. Educational Gardens  Why?  Growing food is a self-sufficiency strategy  Increasing disconnection with where our food comes from.
  24. 24. Educational Gardens 1. Fanning Adult Learning Center 2. Jacob Hiatt 3. Columbus Park 4. May Street 5. Grafton Street 6. Belmont Elementary 7. Greendale Head Start 8. South High Community School 9. Worcester Technical High School 10. Doherty Memorial High School 11. Mill Swan Head Start 12. Quinsigamond Village Community Center
  25. 25. Educational Gardens  Engages students, teachers, staff across subjects and grade levels in hands on learning.  Used both during school and in after school programs.  Produce incorporated into school meals.  Creates partnerships with surrounding community.
  26. 26. Cooking Classes  Why?  Knowledge of cooking and nutrition can improve health and save money.
  27. 27. Cooking Classes  Partnership with Cooking Matters/Share Our Strength, nationally renowned nutrition-based cooking curriculum for adults, teens, children.  Free 6-week class for low-income participants includes weekly bag of groceries and other incentives.  Meals based on $10/meal for a family of four.  Taught by volunteer professional chefs and nutritionists.
  28. 28. Cooking Classes  155 adults and youth have graduated since 2008.  Fanning Adult Learning Center  Plumley Village  Worcester Housing Authority  Girls and Boys Club  YouthGROW  Dynamy Youth Academy  Participation rate of 80%.
  29. 29. Cooking Classes From a random sample of students that participated during 2009 and 2010, survey data shows that by the end of the course, graduates reported that:  73% are eating more vegetables  62% are eating more fruits  80% are eating more whole grains  47% are eating more low-fat or fat-free dairy  49% are eating more lean meats  90% improved their cooking skills  93% made an Eating Right Recipe at home  100% would recommend Eating Right to a friend
  30. 30. Sustainability  School Meals  Director of Nutrition’s commitment  Strengthened Wellness Policy  Participation in Health Council  Legislation: MA School Nutrition Bill
  31. 31. Sustainability  SNAP  Ongoing outreach through Project Bread and Worcester County Food Bank  USDA matching funds for outreach  SNAP Working Group  Local SNAP advisory council  Strong relationship with DTA  Advocacy for increased state funds for admin at DTA
  32. 32. Sustainability  Farmers’ Market  REC’s commitment  USDA Community Food Project Funding  Continual growing success will leverage funds  Advocacy in Farm Bill for Farmers’ Market Promotion Program funds
  33. 33. Sustainability  Educational Gardens REC AmericorpsVISTA position Building capacity of school garden groups Strong partnerships to leverage funds
  34. 34. Sustainability  Cooking Classes REC is a satellite partner and has Mass Promise Fellow Cooking Matters Massachusetts Central Mass Coordinator Growing partnerships with grocery stores
  35. 35. Moving Forward Food & Active Living Policy Council HFH
  36. 36. THANK YOU! All our community partners Health Foundation of Central MA Evaluators Lynne Man and Stewart Landers Project Directors Jean McMurray & Dennis Irish