Where we are now:
The Hunger Coalition and community partners wrapped up the first phase of the Blaine County Food Assessment (BCCFA) in early 2016 with the release of the BCCFA Report. Click on the links below for the executive summary and the full report. This information will be shared in February and March 2016 during presentations at each City Council and with the Blaine County Commissioners. Each community partner and participant in the project also received this report.
WHAT IS NEXT?
The Hunger Coalition’s Community Food Assessment Manager, Lynea Petty, and the University of Idaho’s Extension Education, Lauren Golden, are coordinating the BCCFA’s next phase with community partners. A steering committee meets monthly to network across the multiple parts of the food system. Working groups, tasked with achieving goals set with the steering committee’s oversight, gather approximately quarterly. Together, these collaborative groups are working to identify appropriate programming, policy, promotion and more to address our community food system meaningfully.
The Hunger Coalition strives to end hunger in our community by providing wholesome food, collaboration, education, and advocacy. From 2014 – 2015, The Hunger Coalition, along with two AmeriCorps VISTA members and assistance of the Public Policy Research Center at Boise State University, undertook a community food assessment. Research focused on four areas of the food system: food production, food waste and recovery, food security and food consumption.
WHY A FOOD ASSESSMENT?
Feeding America’s statistics have shown that we are currently helping 84% of the food insecure population in the community, but our numbers show something very different. From 2012 to 2013 our services increased 32%; during the first six months of 2014 a 55% increase of families and individuals occurred, and the number of seniors and those 18 years and younger has soared.
The food assessment takes a more detailed look at the underlying social, economic, and institutional factors in a community that affect the quantity and quality of available food and its affordability in relation to the sufficiency of financial resources available to obtain it.
The food assessment shows us the true number of the food insecure population in our community as well as the barriers that keep people from accessing The Hunger Coalition’s and other organizations’ services. The assessment helped build relationships and define future goals; these community based solutions and relationships will be putting the resources in place to help break the cycle of poverty we face.
COMMUNITY FOOD ASSESSMENT METHODS
Stakeholders from different areas of the community worked to develop a joint agenda and action plan. The team used the USDA’s toolkit which looks at community demographics, community food resources, household food security, food resource availability and affordability, and community food production resources.