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Collaborative Efforts for Obesity Prevention, Food Access and Food Security – Discussion at the October 2013 Board Meeting

General

At its October leadership meeting, the Board of Directors for CCS Partnership discussed collaborative efforts for obesity prevention, food access and food security.  Two guest speakers presented to the board and shared examples and efforts around California that were helpful in discussion of food access and security as well as obesity prevention.

Genoveva Islas-Hooker with the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) presented on her organization’s efforts in the Central Valley.  “CCROPP helps to create healthier communities in the San Joaquin Valley that support healthy eating and active living.  CCROPP is among a growing number of programs in the nation who use a policy and environmental change approach to help community members gain access to healthy food, beverages and safe places to be physically active. At the core of CCROPP is an important leadership training program (Powerful People: Building Leadership for Healthy Communities), in which local residents gain the critical skills and tools to take on leadership roles and help to create healthier communities.”

Robyn Krock with the Sacramento Region Food System Collaborative (a project of Valley Vision) spoke on the collaborative as a coalition of public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders working to inform and influence policy initiatives relevant to the regional food system in the 6-county Capitol Region.  The aim of the Sacramento Regional Food System Collaborative is to support the integration of a regional food policy that prioritizes the elimination of health disparities and ensures sustainable food access to low income communities in RUCS (rural-urban connections), the Blueprint, and other relevant regional and state planning efforts with the potential to impact the regional food system.

Of interest to the board was access to the CalFresh program and the economic impact the program has in cities and counties as well as the proactive engagement efforts to come with the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula and school district Local Control Accountability Plans.  There is great economic opportunity for local areas as more families become aware of and enroll in resources such as CalFresh.

The speakers and board’s discussion focused in on the amount of accessible markets and the role EBT (electronic benefit transfer) has in purchasing power of low-income families.  The smaller grocers, larger markets, farmers’ markets and geography of food distribution have impact on the types of accessible foods and quality nutrition available to children and families.

Providing greater access to the credit /debit card processing at farmers’ markets is one method for increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables by CalFresh families.  The Institute for Local Government highlighted one local agency’s efforts to increase access to farmers’ markets in the case story “Healthy Food Comes to a Rural Neighborhood in Rancho Cucamonga.” Additional tools for local agencies to consider include zoning and permitting.  More information about using these tools to help in promoting healthier communities is available through the Institute for Local Government and ChangeLab Solutions.

Guest Speaker Presentations are available for download:

Genoveva Islas-Hooker, Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Project (ScribD file)

Robyn Krock, Sacramento Food System Collaborative (Valley Vision) (ScribD file)

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