Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December: Education & Skills, Policy & Systems Change and Double Up Food Bucks Strategy Areas

Below is a summary of the Strategy Group work from our November Meeting.  If you are involved in the CHIP Food Security work, please review and identify where you would like to focus your energy.  The Double Up Food Bucks currently is the only group with solid action steps.  The other two have opportunity to help clarify and shape what will take place over the next few months.  

Our next meeting will take place in January.  Visit the meeting doodle to let me know what dates you are available.  After this next meeting we will evaluate how often we will be meeting and what is the preference for how we meet (as a whole group with "team" work or if groups wish to schedule separately. I know there is some crossover involvement.  

Strategy Area Work Summary

Action plan work to date prioritizes building on local successes related to 5 categories of intervention approaches.  Using current assets and that can be committed to this work, teams identified the follow strategies:
  1. Establish a community-wide approach to collaborating with and referring to existing skills-based education programs to address healthy eating and food security.
  2. Create a model for policy and environmental change to support food security.
  3. Implement a Double Up Food Bucks program in local retail settings.

Subgroups identified key concepts, areas to explore and action steps for each of the 3 areas.

Build on existing relationships with partner organizations to further educational opportunities.  Build the network between organizations.

Groups present: FEAST, YMCA, Mission CI
The YMCA and FEAST identified how this approach can work between their organizations

  • YMCA nutrition programs talk to participants in their educational programs to see which of them have kids in FEAST partner schools.  Make connections between the nutrition education happening with the students @ FEAST and the parents @ The YMCA
  • FEAST introduce the YMCA educators working with adults to school staff.  Teachers learn about wellness programs via the YMCA that are available to them as educators.  Parents learn about available programs that may be available to them.
  • FEAST introduce YMCA educators to our partner school social worker as an option to connect to families in need.   
  • Communication between FEAST classes and the mobile kitchen is ongoing, The mobile kitchen knows what FEAST students have been doing so they can reference it in their demonstrations and produce distribution.
  • Find other services and avenues of communication between our organizations that can help to bring home the knowledge and skills they are learning with each of us
  • Tailor education to coincide between programs to strengthen the message to both youth and adults. Allowing stronger educational take home points.
  • YMCA Mobile Kitchen acts as a mobile education site that can fill education gaps on the service map.
  • Bridge educational initiatives currently in place to strengthen the overall goal in nutrition education to reflect a decrease in the percentage of food insecurity and increase percentage fruit and vegetable consumption. These bridges act as strongholds and ensure a direct reflection of where education gaps truly exist.

Policy and Systems Change
Groups present: MANNA FoodBank, Youth Empowered Solutions, Mission Community Investment
Key Strengths/Resources:
  • Expertise on best practice models
  • Existing programs, trainings, etc. offered to the community
  • Network of providers
  • Connections with agencies across other sectors

Key Ideas:
  • Align multiple funders in support of broader, multi-year projects
  • Engage general public, key community leaders, and youth in addressing food insecurity
  • Train youth as community leaders, and adults to work with youth
  • Leverage existing networks to expand connectivity between programs and resources, and the people who need them
Strategies and Ideas:
  1. Existing Program with Potential to Grow: Food Insecurity Screening and Referral Pilot project (MANNA) utilizes MANNA’s expertise in the client-choice pantry model, and connects to Mission’s network of providers, who are streamlining and unifying practice models that incorporate connections to community resources.
  2. Growth Opportunity - Youth in the community are an untapped resource in creating access to food assistance with less stigma.
    1. Youth Empowered Solutions has experience and expertise in engaging youth as community leaders and they can share training for adults working with youth
    2. Mission has athletic trainers in many schools across the county through its Sports Medicine programs; this is a potential connection point between programming and students, who establish rapport with athletic trainers that they may not have with other adults. Opportunity to engage students who may be in need and connect with student ambassadors for food insecurity resources
    3. MANNA has Packs for Kids partners in 16 counties, allowing early engagement of kids in youth leadership opportunities
    4. MANNA and Youth Empowered Solutions can share advocacy training, possibly engage youth as advocates for their communities’ food security
  1. Growth Opportunity – Community Alignment and Awareness
    1. Engaging community funders to align with CHA priorities and direct more resources to critical work
    2. Engage community members and leaders through Poverty Simulations, creating a deeper awareness and level of engagement for the general public and decision-makers
    3. Connect with community groups (ex. churches within MANNA’s network) to support needs like transportation through their existing resources
Environmental Change
Establish a Double Up Bucks program in Buncombe County
Short term result: Pilot a Double Up Food Bucks Program in a small retail market in partnership with Mountain Wise as they pilot a site in a western county.  (Click here for a one-pager on DUFB)

Groups Present: ABFPB, Bountiful Cities, Buncombe HHS

  • Identify second small retail location to participate in pilot. ( French Broad Food Coop is committed).
  • Secure funding for pilot (conversations underway with Community Foundation)

Based on current resources action steps specific to CHIP process:
Develop a system for awareness and community support of DUFB and the role of retail access in addressing food security by:  

  • Request for CHIP network to distribute the AB Food Policy Council Food Action Plan survey to networks and constituencies.  The will inform the work of the ABFPC going forward including the Double Up Food Bucks
  • Present the DUFB program to the CHIP Advisory Council with request for input into Funding and identification of a lead agency as the program moves from pilot to broader implementation.
  • Request formal endorsement of DUFB by CHIP
  • Request that all CHIP partners share the DUFB program information and availability with their EBT/SNAP-using clients/contacts