Catalyzing Health Care Investment in Healthier Food Systems 

Health Care Without Harm is undertaking a national study of non-profit hospitals’ community benefit practices to improve healthy food access and reduce risk of diet-related disease.

In this three-year project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Care Without Harm is conducting a national study of non-profit hospitals’ community benefit practices targeted to strengthening food system resilience and sustainability, improving physical and economic access to healthy foods, and promoting healthier dietary patterns and healthy body weight. Through a national survey, in-depth interviews, and case studies, the study will identify best hospital community benefit practices as well as model programs promoting sustainable and healthy food systems.

Survey invitations will be sent to a random sample of tax-exempt hospitals to learn about how hospitals include food insecurity, healthy food access, and diet-related health conditions in their community health needs assessments and implementation plans.  Findings will be made available through various learning networks, including Community Commons.



Bakers dozen of carbon mile trips

My Toronto colleague Wayne Roberts has written an excellent piece on the miles it takes to get food to you. Even though I can imagine how many of these that most of us have seen, this one really breaks it down so “civilians” can get the enormity. Another good piece to add to your market newsletter…


Record for billion-dollar weather disasters tied

Unfortunately, we in the agricultural biz are just going to have to get better at explaining disasters to our communities…

Record for billion-dollar weather disasters tied – Weather –

Bad localvore story

In my mind, the story linked at the end of this post is like ending up the wrong side of the tracks in a regional food system: You’re viewing the poor part of it (in this case, in values) and maybe it’s wrong to see it as being part of the same place at all.
Trumpeting a man made water-reliant artificial system for growing what is known among the wild-caught fishers in my neck of the woods as “textured protein” rather than understanding that shrimp are creatures that are born and live in a complex free flowing water system, such as our estuaries around the Gulf of Mexico is dangerous wrong-side-of-the-tracks behavior.
And instead of pointing out that true localvores eat what is raised as part of their bioregion, this story extols the virtue of every food item available 24/7 in a desert.
I do have access to seafood and as a result of that bounty, live with the uncertainty of life on the edge of a massive waterway that is prone to hurricanes and dead zones from run off up North. I do have access to seafood, but go without fresh corn or stone fruit being available locally and only see those wonderful items when I travel to another food system. And that, to me, is the definition of a localvore.

Las Vegas story

Request for proposals for CFSC’s fall conference

“Food Justice:
Honoring our Roots, Growing the Movement” Community Food Security Coalition’s 15th Annual Conference Oakland, California November 5-8, 2011
Submit proposals online: here
Proposal Deadline: May 13, 2011
As you design your session, consider the following:
• We will prioritize creative and interactive sessions that provide opportunities for significant audience
participation, such as structured group activities, mapping or drawing, small group discussions, “think, pair, and share,” and dialogue circles.
• We encourage sessions that lead to a specific outcome, that are linked to the activities of the Community Food Security Coalition, and/or that build the community food security movement.
• “How to” and skill building workshops that provide ideas and tools will be prioritized.
• We encourage workshop organizers to include a diverse group of workshop leaders, such as youth, project participants, and community members.
• The number of people involved in food system related efforts is growing. We want to offer sessions for people new to the movement, as well as for people who have been involved in the food movement for a longer period of time. Both introductory and specialized workshops are welcome, as are sessions that would appeal to a broad spectrum of attendees.
• We urge presenters to avoid proposing workshops that highlight only a specific project or program. Instead, we suggest that you connect with colleagues from other organizations or communities to create a more comprehensive collaborative workshop. These workshops will be given priority during the review process.
• Technical Assistance for developing effective presentations will be available through the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Society Fellowship. Details will be provided to leaders of the workshops chosen for the conference.
• All sessions will be 90 minutes in length. Expect approximately 30 – 75 attendees per session.
Expectations of Presenters
Presenters are required to submit all materials (powerpoints, tools, etc) used in the session prior to the conference for distribution to attendees.
The workshop leader must attend a conference orientation webinar prior to the conference.
CFSC is seeking proposals for two session formats:
These sessions are skill building,
educational, or informative in nature. We
encourage a participatory approach, but
presentations with adequate time for
discussion are acceptable.

Networking Sessions
Facilitated discussions designed to engage participants
in a discussion about a situation, challenge, or
strategy. While there will be a facilitator, all
participants are on equal footing. Presentations

HUFED newsletter

This list of some of the conferences happening soon is from the Wallace Center’s newsletter, which I encourage everyone to sign up for.


April 29 Homefront to Heartland: A Conference for Women in Agriculture; Nashville, TN

Conference topics include marketing and financing, advocacy tools, diet and utilizing new technology.

May 5 National Good Food Network (NGFN) Webinar on Fair Food

Register for the upcoming NGFN webinar where Oran Hesterman, President and CEO of Fair Food Network, will discuss his soon-to-be-released book Fair Food: Growing a Healthy Sustainable Food System for All from 3:30-4:45pm EST.

May 5 Local and Sustainable Meat & Poultry: Making the Shift in Institutional Purchasing; Clarksville, MD

This regional conference will bring together a variety of stakeholders to identify barriers and possible solutions and strategies for establishing new institutional purchasing practices for local sustainable beef, pork and poultry. The conference will be held from 7:30am – 3:00pm at the Ten Oaks Ballroom and Conference Center in Clarksville, Maryland. An agenda is coming soon. This initiative is funded by a grant from the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) within USDA Agricultural Marketing Service with matching funds from the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers.

May 19-21 Community Food Security Coalition Conference; Portland, OR

The CFSC’s “Food Policy from Neighborhood to Nation” conference will include field trips, short courses and workshops focused on local and state level food policy issues.

May 31 Healthy Corner Store Network Webinar “Low-cost strategies for Bringing Healthier Foods into Small-scale Stores”

This webinar, sponsored by the Community Food Security Coalition, will be held May 31 from 1:00 pm – 2:15pm EST and cover low-cost methods for introducing, displaying and promoting healthy foods in corner stores and other small-scale retail stores.

June 6 Illinois Public Health Association Sustainable Food Systems Workshop; Lombard, Illinois

The Food and Nutrition Section of the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) will host a workshop at their 2011 IPHA Annual Meeting, “Sustainable Food Systems Building the Foundation for Prepared Communities.” The keynote speaker will be John W. Boyd, Jr. President of the National Black Farmers Association, and a panel discussion will cover international food systems and Illinois statewide food issues.

June 2-4 School Food FOCUS Annual Conference “Transforming School Food” Denver, Colorado

At this three day conference at the Inverness Hotel in Denver, participants will “tour Denver schools, gardens, and other food facilities, learn about the new School Food FOCUS Strategic Plan, discover best practices and learnings from the field, meet and sample food during the School Food Showcase from vendors providing wholesome options for school food service, including Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, collaborate in workshops and roundtables that get to the heart of food systems change, participate in a dialogue with USDA representatives, a unique chance to voice concerns and be heard, become familiar with emerging regional school food hubs across the country”.

October 3-4 Consumer Federation of America National Food Policy Conference; Washington, DC

The National Food Policy Conference is for those involved in agriculture, and food and nutrition policy to explore the critical food policy issues with policymakers, advocates and scientists. Major speakers include cabinet members and leaders on food and agriculture policy on Capitol Hill.

November 4-8 Community Food Security Coalition’s 15th Annual Conference; Oakland, CA

This four day food systems networking and educational event will include presentations, workshops, networking opportunities, local grown food, and field trips around the San Francisco Bay area.

November 8-11 Policy Link’s Equity Summit 2011; Detroit, MI

Registration is now open for Policy Link’s Equity Summit “Healthy Communities, Strong Regions, A Prosperous America” to discuss sustainable and equitable development and the relationship between access to jobs, transportation, education, health, and housing.

November 11-12 Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) Annual Conference; Albany, NY

NESAWG, a network of 12 Northeastern states that focuses on regional food system development, will have their annual “It Takes a Region” conference that will draw on the success of their 2009 & 2010 conferences to discuss distribution logistics, research, messaging, access & nutrition, and advocacy in relation to the 2012 Farm Bill.