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Strategic Plan for Food Planning Associations - Baylor University

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Create access to healthy food in order to improve childhood performance in to become feeding sites for children in order to increase access to healthy

Texas Hunger Initiative

Strategic Plan for Communities

September 2009

Mission Statement:

    The Texas Hunger Initiative (THI) seeks to develop and implement strategies to alleviate hunger

    through policy, education, community organizing, and community development. We do this by:

    ? Creating Food Planning Associations in target communities that will assess food delivery

    systems, make decisions for change, and implement their action plans in order to provide

    adequate food for all.

    1, which will think ? Launching a Food Policy Round Table with our policy partners

    strategically about policy and governmental procedures, discuss needed changes in policy,

    and advocate for legislative change.

    ? Linking Food Planning Associations and the Food Policy Round Table to make certain

    that policies and legislative action reflect the reality of the community needs.

Values:

    The Texas Hunger Initiative believes that:

    1. Every human should have adequate access daily to healthy and nutritious food.

    2. Faith based communities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies should

    partner with society and bear responsibility for hungry individuals and families while

    using their voices and leadership to alleviate poverty and hunger in their communities.

    3. Alleviating hunger will be accomplished through nurturing the creative relationship

    between hunger advocates serving at the policy level and grassroots level, valuing change

    at both levels equally.

    4. The voices of those experiencing hunger should be intentionally heard and should inform

    hunger service and policy decisions.

    5. Communities will need to collaborate on education efforts in order for all community

    members to understand the value of nutritious food and the impact of each individual’s

    choices on the health of the community as a whole.

1 Policy partners include the Baptist General Convention’s Christian Life Commission, The Center for Public Policy Priorities,

    The Texas Food Bank Network, Texas Health Institute, Texas Impact, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the United

    States Department of Agriculture.

    Texas Hunger Initiative Goals

    1. End hunger by 2015 by creating access to three meals a day everyday for all people in

    Texas.

    ? Launch and participate in the Food Policy Roundtable with other policy partners.

    ? Develop and sustain Food Planning Associations in Texas communities. 2. Create a strategic process to end hunger that can be duplicated in other states.

    ? Develop an action plan utilizing principles of community organizing.

    ? Formulate a prototype that can be used to address other issues of poverty in Texas. 3. Elevate the voices of those living in hunger.

    ? Invite individuals living in hunger to Food Policy Roundtables.

    ? Invite individuals living in hunger to Food Planning Associations. 4. Create healthier communities.

    ? Create access to healthy food in order to improve childhood performance in

    schools and decrease obesity.

    ? Educate and raise awareness about hunger in communities.

    ? Increase access to locally grown food.

    5. Enhance economic development.

    ? Sign people up for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

    ? Improve small farming economy through the implementation of the Farm to

    School program.

The following principles or action steps are a combination of community organizing, strategic

    planning, political advocacy, and community development principles for working with

    impoverished communities. I believe that each approach is incomplete without being

    accompanied by the others. This process is not necessarily linear but is cyclical in nature, with

    steps being repeated as necessary throughout the community organizing process. We believe

    that we can accomplish goals that many of us never dreamed possible by working together even

    when functioning on our own seems simpler. Thank you for working with the Texas Hunger

    Initiative to end hunger in Texas and create greater access to healthy food for all.

    Jeremy K. Everett

    Director, Texas Hunger Initiative

    October 2009

    Strategic Plan Introduction:

    The following outline provides steps for developing a Food Planning Association (FPA) and

    utilizing the FPA to assess community strengths and needs as well as develop and implement

    needed change. This document is intended to offer a brief outline of the process. The Texas

    Hunger Initiative will provide resources to supplement the information in this plan to those who

    are interested in implementing this process in their community. Texas Hunger Initiative contact

    information can be found on the last page of this document.

Step 1: Identify and train grassroots organizers and volunteers

    I. THI staff will contact the Mayor and Food Bank director of each community to set up a

    time to visit the community.

    II. THI staff will contact religious leaders, social service directors, and hunger advocates to

    visit with them and share THI goals ideally while visiting communities for mayoral

    meetings.

    III. If needed, THI staff will send the strategic plan to them ahead of time to examine the

    2goals of Texas Hunger Initiative, purpose of the FPA, and roles/commitment needed for

    the FPA to succeed.

    a. Mayors, Food Bank Directors, religious leaders, or hunger advocates will contact

    3various individuals to serve as grassroots organizers for the FPA.

    i. Identify and engage appointed leaders of the community.

    ii. Identify and engage "unofficial" community leaders or gatekeepers.

    I. These are individuals seen as leaders by the community residents.

    II. These gatekeepers generally have the respect of the community

    residents and quite possibly have a large realm of influence.

    b. Cast the vision of food security while networking in the initial community visit.

2 Food Planning Associations (FPAs) will be established in every community in Texas. THI organizers will remain in contact

    with each FPA primarily through phone and email but also face-to-face, equipping each FPA with a step-by step strategic plan

    and notebook walking them through the process of ending hunger in their community through the formation and sustainment of

    the FPA. THI organizers will gather stories from FPAs to inform the Policy Round Table in their advocacy efforts. THI hopes

    that each FPA will become the hunger coalition for their community if one has not already been established.

    3 See attachment for FPA roles and descriptions.

    c. A date will be set for THI staff to return to the community and train all FPA

    4organizers.

Step 2: Gather volunteers to establish a Food Planning Association (FPA)

     5I. FPA grassroots organizers set date(s) for town hall meetings to recruit volunteers for the

    6FPA.

    II. FPA grassroots organizers will establish a date and venue in their community for their

    first FPA meeting, promoting this at Town Hall meetings.

    a. Town Hall meetings should be held in churches, schools, and/or public venues

    such as coffee shops to cast a vision for food security and recruit members of the

    FPA as well as enlist volunteers to support FPA activities (i.e…summer feeding

    programs).

Step 3: Creation & development of Food Planning Association

I. Advertised at town hall meetings.

    II. FPA will identify key issues to address with initial assistance from THI.

    a. Research will be required to ensure adequate assessments of the given area of

    emphasis.

    b. Complete a community inventory.

    c. Develop an understanding of resources available statewide.

    III. Develop an understanding of resources available to the community.

    IV. FPA meetings:

    a. Assess the strengths and weaknesses in the community that will address food

    security.

    b. Reveal resources available to FPA to effectively improve the given problem.

    c. Develop solutions to effectively improve or resolve the problem at hand.

    i. For example, the FPA may choose to address the problem of low

    participation rate of summer feeding programs. First, the FPA needs to

    identify all summer feeding program sponsors and sites and what days

    each site serves children.

4 How we identify them will vary from town to town. Training will be the same.

    5 See attachment for Town Hall meeting definitions and example agendas.

    ii. Second, the FPA needs to assess how many children are underserved in

    the community each summer, where they live, and develop an

    understanding of why the children do not participate in existing summer

    feeding programs.

    iii. Third, the FPA must develop a plan to increase participation of children

    who desire access to summer feeding programs.

    1. This plan could include adding churches as summer feeding sites

    during times that current sites are not open. It could increase

    transportation for children to sites or deliver food to children.

    d. In order to empower the participants, the facilitator of the group meeting should

    give every individual an opportunity to speak in the meetings, even if the

    residents are repeating information. The residents will feel they have been heard

    and their opinions or experiences have worth. This has the potential to give you

    credibility and the respect of the community residents.

    Step 4: Implement Plan of Action

    I. FPA’s will need to recruit volunteers, market new programs, and identify sites to

    implement plans to achieve goals of food security.

    a. For example, once the FPA has identified which neighborhoods need additional

    summer feeding sites, the FPA will need to recruit churches, schools, or

    community centers to become feeding sites for children in order to increase access

    to healthy food for children. II. FPA’s will then need to recruit volunteers to assist in the effort at those feeding sites.

    III. FPA’s will then need to inform families in communities of the additional summer feeding

    services being provided to children during the summer.

    Step 5: Evaluate FPA experience and progress

I. Semi-annually, the Food Planning Association will evaluate their experience. These self-

    evaluations will include several levels of reflection including:

    a. An evaluation of the Food Planning Association as an organization including

    areas such as group dynamics, effectiveness in working together on tasks and

    adequate representation from diverse populations in the community including

    families living with hunger

    b. An evaluation of the FPA’s progress in building relationships in the community

    and assessing the overall food distribution system in the community

    c. An evaluation of the FPA’s progress in addressing the hunger issue being

    addressed

    d. An evaluation of the FPA’s progress in meeting its annual goals.

    7 will be used solely to help the FPA function better as a team and II. These evaluations

    streamline its work so that it can more effectively address issues of hunger in the

    community.

     6 Evaluations and assessments will be supplied when needed as appendices.

    Contact Information:

    Texas Hunger Initiative

    Baylor University School of Social Work

    One Bear Place #97320

    Waco, Texas 76798-7320

    254-710-3704

    texashungerinitiative@baylor.edu

    www.texashunger.org

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