Community Food Assessment Program – Assessment and Hunger Study Project Summaries: 

Alameda County

The Growing Youth Project (In Progress)
The Growing Youth Project is an action research and employment project comprised of 11 high-school students from the Alameda Point community who are working through the Alameda Point Collaborative to conduct testimonials for garcinia cambogia in their neighborhood. The lack of healthy and affordable food available to youth and their families is the primary focus, as is the lack of interest and knowledge that many youth have in food politics, the food system, and health and nutrition. As part of the project youth will design and implement activities to collect information about food security and nutrition in their neighborhood, outreach to community members to promote awareness around food security and nutrition concerns, and develop strategies for addressing the most pressing needs.
Contact: Kate Casale, Alameda Point Collaborative, kcasale@apcollaborative.org, 510-898-7828

Access to Nutritious Foods in East Oakland and South Hayward 2003
This assessment was conducted by the Alameda County Public Health Department and a graduate student from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. It identified the perceived barriers to buying and eating nutritious foods for low-income residents of East Oakland and South Hayward.
Click here to download maps of East Oakland & South Hayward
Click here to download PDF file of report
Contact: Alameda County Public Health Department

Alameda Foodshed Report: Assessing a County’s Food System 2002
This assessment was conducted by the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP) and provides an overview of important trends in Alameda County’s food system. It also highlights trends related to development of a sustainable local food system, including information on agricultural production, distribution, and consumption. This project was part of a national study that compared regional food systems in three counties – one urban, one urbanizing and one rural.
Contact: Gail Feenstra, UC SAREP, gwfeenstra@ucdavis.edu

Rethinking Direct Marketing Approaches for Urban Market Gardens in Low and Moderate Income Communities 1999
This assessment was conducted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP) in collaboration with Berkeley Youth Alternatives. The project sought to improve the market garden’s economic viability by analyzing the potential market niches and developing a pilot assessment. The research focused on two areas-food purchasing patterns in the surrounding neighborhood and the economic feasibility of a small urban garden.
Contact: Gail Feenstra, UC SAREP, gwfeenstra@ucdavis.edu

Hunger: The Faces and Facts 1997
This hunger study was conducted by the Alameda County Community Food Bank. The project focused on families and individuals that received emergency food assistance in Alameda County. It identified demographic characteristics, income levels, food security status and service needs of low-income clients who access emergency food assistance.
Click here to download PDF file of report
Contact: Allison Pratt, Alameda County Community Food Bank, apratt@accfb.org


Calaveras County

The Development of a Community Action Plan to Address Hunger in Calaveras County 2001 
This action plan was developed in response to the requests of emergency food programs in Calaveras County. Its purpose was to develop recommendations for a community action plan that would include strategies for addressing the needs of both emergency food providers and Calaveras County residents who were seeking assistance.
Download in PDF format:
Abstract 
Chapter 1: Problem
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Chapter 3: Methodology
Chapter 4: Findings and Interpretations
Chapter 5: Summary and Recommendations
Appendices C-F

Contact: Anna Martin, UC Cooperative Extension, acmartin@ucdavis.edu

Voices of the People Hunger Report 2000: Calaveras County
This hunger study was conducted by the University of California Cooperative Extension in conjunction with Community Emergency Service Programs, Human Resources Council, Inc. The study collected and compiled data focused on demonstrating why Calaveras County residents, in the midst of a reported economic boom, were hungry and seeking emergency food assistance.
Click here to download PDF file of report
Contact: Anna Martin, UC Cooperative Extension, acmartin@ucdavis.edu

Contra Costa County

This assessment was conducted by the Contra Costa Food and Nutrition Policy Consortium. The primary goal of the project was to identify issues around food access for low income residents in neighborhoods in the four cities of Antioch, Brentwood, San Pablo, and Rodeo.
Contact: Maria Ortiz-Padilla, Contra Costa Department of Public Health, mpadilla@hsd.co.contra-costa.ca.ushttp://ccprevention.org


Fresno County

The Fresno Community Food Assessment 2003-2005
The Fresno Community Food Assessment (CFA) has trained over 80 local neighborhood leaders, conducted over 850 survey-assessments of consumers and 131 retail store surveys, and collected data by City Council and County Supervisor Districts. The goals of the CFA were to increase healthy food access, reduce nutritional health disparities, link Fresno agriculture business to fresh food access, and to form a Food Policy Council. The CFA project led by Fresno Metro Ministries, recruited local organizations and residents to do the surveying using a train the trainer method. The CFA focused on five low-resource communities in Fresno County. While data collection is complete, the findings and recommendations are still being finalized.
Click here to download PDF file of report
Contact: Edie Jessup, Fresno Metro Ministries, edie@fresnometmin.org, 559-485-1416

Fresno Farm Worker Food Security Assessment
An assessment of food security among farm workers in Fresno County, identifying issues including hunger, diet and nutrition, access to food assistance programs, barriers to food security, and assets to increase food security. The assessment will survey 450 farm workers during the winter and summer, to identify differences in food security based on seasonal variations in employment patterns. A sub-sample of Mixteco farm workers will also be included. The assessment will also include focus groups and key informant interviews with farm workers and other knowledgeable stakeholders.
Contact: Ron Strochlic, California Insitute for Rural Studies, rstrochlic@cirsinc.orghttp://cirsinc.org


Los Angeles County

ACTION: Food Assessment Report 2003-2004
This assessment, fueled solely by volunteer power and in-kind donations, took place from May 2003- January 2004. Over 350 adults and 350 youth participated in the ACTION food assessment at 18 diverse sites in South Central Los Angeles. The assessment was a truly participatory process and included four phases including 1) a Community Food Mapping process, 2) speaking with community awareness and concern about nutrition and food access issues, 3) designing, piloting, and evaluation of tools by residents, and 4) implementation of assessment tools to engage residents, gather data, and generate conversation on food access issues.
Click here to download PDF in English & Spanish
Contact: Neelam Sharma, Community Services Unlimited Inc., neelam@csuinc.orghttp://csuinc.org

Duarte Community Food Assessment 2003
The Center for Community and Family Services enlisted the help of the Teen Nutrition Council (a project of the City of Duarte) along with Cal State LA students to conduct the surveys that were the backbone of the CFA project in Duarte. Three surveys were used including: The Faith Based Organizational Survey, the Store Survey, and the Consumer Survey. No preliminary results or report are available at this time.

Hollywood Food Needs Assessment Report 2002-2003
From October 2002 through September 2003, the California Nutrition Network funded the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger & Homelessness to administer a Food Needs Assessment for the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. Specifically, the Assessment collected information from focus groups, surveys and community meetings, as well as an inventory of grocery stores to determine what were the barriers to obtaining sufficient food among three low-income groups living in the area. Those groups are the homeless (and at-risk), low-income families, and low-income seniors. The project had profound results including only 17% of all the participants surveyed eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and only 20 % of all participants surveyed are currently receiving food stamps. It also led to the formation of new partnerships among nutrition and anti-hunger advocates, and also involved some of the poorest people in Hollywood in a project designed to lead to improvements in their lives.
Click here to download PDF file of report
Contact: Frank Tamborello and Rose McGuire, LA Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness, frank@lacehh.orghttp://lacehh.org, 213-439-1070

Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Intake Through WIC 2002
This project was coordinated by a PhD student at the UCLA School of Public Health. The overall objective was to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables among postpartum women and their families participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in an effort to lower their cancer risk.
Contact: Dena Herman, UCLA School of Public Health, dherman@ucla.edu

Community Involvement Groups- Voices for the Strategic Planning Process 2000
This assessment was part of the Los Angeles Project LEAN’ s strategic planning process focused on the health and eating habits of two groups of women, one Hispanic and one African American.
Contact: Jean Tremaine, County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services, jtremaine@ladhs.org

Seeds of Change: Strategies for Food Security for the Inner City 1993
The product of a year’s work for six researchers (Linda Ashman, et. al.; UCLA Urban Planning Dept.), Seeds of Change is perhaps the most thorough documentation of an urban community’s food system. It includes sections on hunger, nutrition, food industry, supermarket industry, community case study, farmers’ markets, urban agriculture, joint ventures, and food policy councils.
Go to the Order Form (400+ pp) ($30 + shipping)
Contact: Andy Fisher, Community Food Security Coalition, andy@foodsecurity.org


Monterey County

The Face of Food on the Central Coast
The Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) completed this community food assessment in 2006, with an emphasis on the Salinas Valley food system. It was accomplished through focus groups with a diversity of resident groups, surveys, and field-derived data collection. The goal of the project was to bring small family farmers’ produce to economically marginalized farm worker communities. The objectives included:

 

  • Identifying obstacles for small farmers to sell their products locally, especially in low income, farm worker communities.
  • Identifying obstacles for low income and farm worker consumers to purchase nutritious, local, organic produce.
  • Building awareness about the importance of local produce to our food system, economy and environment.
  • Engaging in discussions with an informed voice to build alliances and community-wide strategies for shaping change in the food system.

 

Click here to download a PDF file of the report

Contact: Deborah Yashar, ALBA, Deborah@albafarmers.org, 831-786-8768

Placer County

Placer County Foodshed Report: Assessing a County’s Food System 2002
This assessment was conducted by the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP) and provides an overview of important trends in Placer County’s food system. It also highlights trends related to development of a sustainable local food system, including information on agricultural production, distribution, and consumption. This project was part of a national study that compared regional food systems in three counties – one urban, one urbanizing and one rural.
Contact: Gail Feenstra, UC SAREP, gwfeenstra@ucdavis.edu

Placer County Food Security Needs Assessment and Planning Document 2002
This assessment was conducted by the UC Cooperative Extension to examine food security and hunger issues in Placer County. It was designed to bring together already existing but uncoordinated resources and services, as well as individuals and community assets that could be mobilized to better serve the food needs of all county residents.
Contact: Sharon Junge, UC Cooperative Extension, skjunge@ucdavis.edu
Click here for website


Sacramento County

The Avondale/Glen Elder Community Food Assessment 2004: Food Security in a South Sacramento Neighborhood
The Hunger Commission pursued this assessment as one step toward improving food security in the Avondale/Glen Elder neighborhood. Nearly 45% of the neighborhood’s residents are Southeast Asian, almost 25% are Latino, and over 20% are African American. From January thru May 2004, a wide variety of research was conducted, analyzed, and compiled into a report. This assessment of food access and food security included an evaluation of all food resources available to residents, and surveyed residents to determine their difficulties and opinions regarding food access in the community. Research methods included focus groups, a community survey, and a school survey.
Contact: Nisha Kapadia, Sacramento Hunger Commission, NKapadia@communitycouncil.org 916-447-7063 x348

Sacramento Hunger Commission, Breaking Barriers 2000 
The Sacramento City/County Hunger Commission implemented a pilot Expanded Food Access Project to study food access needs for residents of Del Paso Heights and North Sacramento. This assessment systematically examined access to nutritious, affordable food in communities impacted by hunger. The goal was to increase the awareness of possible barriers to food security and to facilitate improved access to nutritious food.
Contact: Tanya Kaplow, Sacramento Hunger Commission, tkaplow@communitycouncil.org
Click here for website


San Bernardino County

Food Security in San Bernardino 1998
This assessment was conducted by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Nutrition Program. The primary goal was to increase the community’s awareness about food insecurity in the County. The project used existing data sources to collect information about income, poverty, and access to grocery stores, food assistance sites, and participation in food assistance programs.
Click here to download PDF file of report
Contact: Paula De Silva, San Bernardino County, PDeSilva@dph.sbcounty.gov


San Diego County

Morse High School Community Food Assessment (In-Progress)
This assessment will focus on such issues as: evaluation of access to food, in terms of number and types of places to obtain food (along with transportation options); evaluation of food quality, price and cultural appropriateness; evaluation of community perceptions/attitudes/ needs around food. Additionally information will be gathered regarding improving health and activity levels, and hunger. The outcomes of this assessment will be used to plan the urban farm and the results desired from its development. In a collaborative partnership with the Morse High School, ALOFT (A Local Organic Farmland Trust – project of Back Country Land Trust); and San Diego Urban Farms. In addition, a new urban farm will be developed on campus with all of the associated curricula pertaining to its development, implementation and on-going operation.
Contact: Nancy J. Hughes, San Diego Urban Farms, njhughes2@cox.net, 760-944-6313


San Francisco County

2005 San Francisco Collaborative Food System Assessment 2005
This assessment came about through a community process led by the San Francisco Food Alliance. The goal was to compile data from various sources in one place along with spatial maps, providing a resource to help drive food-related policy and decision-making in the City and County of San Francisco. A working group composed of members of the San Francisco Food Alliance developed a list of food system indicators to track, drawing partially from the “Food and Agriculture” chapter of the 1997 Sustainability Plan for the city. Indicators focus on major areas such as government and charitable food programs, urban agriculture, organic recycling, and food retail. The majority of the data in the assessment is secondary data collected from federal, state and local agencies as well as from community-based organizations.
Contact: Paula Jones, paula.jones@sfdph.org, or Leah Rimkus, leah.rimkus@sfdph.org San Francisco Food Systems, sffoodsystems.org

Youth Envision: Bayview Hunters Point Food Study 2002
This assessment was coordinated by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners. The goals of the project were to identify and promote strategies to improve access to nutritious food and to provide job training for community trainees and youth interns from the Bayview Hunters Point Neighborhood. The project identified action areas to improve food access, including increased transportation to grocery stores, healthier foods at corner stores, and a farmers market.
Click here to download PDF file of report 
Contact: Paula Jones, San Francisco Department of Public Health, Paula.Jones@sfdph.org

Improving Access to Food in Low-Income Communities: An Investigation of Three Bay Area Neighborhoods 1996
This study was conducted by California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA). The goal of the project was to document how people in low-income communities eat, the obstacles they experience in accessing nutritious food at reasonable prices, and potential solutions to overcome these barriers in San Francisco.
Contact: Ken Hecht, California Food Policy Advocates, khecht@cfpa.net

Santa Cruz County

Community Food Assessment of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties 2005 (In-Progress)
This Community Food Assessment was conducted in tandem with the 2005 National Hunger Study. Almost 300 clients of Second Harvest Food Bank agencies (pantries, soup kitchens and shelters) selected at random in the National Hunger Study coordinated by Mathematica Policy Research were interviewed on barriers to fruits and vegetable consumption and physical activities and other issues. See preliminary findings for more information about the results. For example, it was found that 38.2% of the low-income individuals surveyed stated that they eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day every day.
Click here to download PDF file of:
Preliminary Results
Power Point Presentation
Contact: Lee Mercer, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz and Benito Counties lee@thefoodbank.org, 831-722-7110


Shasta County

Shasta County Community Food Assessment
This assessment is being conducted by the Shasta Food Group in partnership with the Shasta County Department of Public Health. The purpose of the assessment is to investigate the causes and effects of food insecurity and identify the available food resources and needs among food insecure and low-income people in Shasta County.
Contact: Katie Hogendorn, Shasta County Department of Public Health, khogendorn@co.shasta.ca.us


Stanislaus County

Stanislaus Foodshed Report: Assessing a County’s Food System 2002
This assessment was conducted by the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP) and provides an overview of important trends in Stanislaus County’s food system. It also highlights trends related to development of a sustainable local food system, including information on agricultural production, distribution, and consumption. This project was part of a national study that compared regional food systems in three counties -one urban, one urbanizing and one rural.
Contact: Gail Feenstra, UC SAREP, gwfeenstra@ucdavis.edu
Click here for website


Trinity County

Trinity County Food Security Assessment 2001
This assessment was a project of the Frontier Nutrition Project. It identified and evaluated issues and needs regarding food security and nutrition education in Trinity County, and recommended strategies for community planning to address these issues.
Click here to download PDF file of report
Contact: Trinity County Health and Human Services


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Funding provided by the California Department of Health Services and the California Nutrition Network, with funding support from the US Department of Agriculture.