An evaluation of a neighborhood-level intervention to a local food environment.
Sommaire de l'article
BACKGROUND: The impact of local availability of healthy foods on dietary intake and health has been established. Interventions to local environments are being evaluated for their efficacy and sustainability.
PURPOSE: The aim of this paper is to provide an evaluation of a community-driven approach to transform neighborhood healthy food availability.
METHODS: The information provided comes from minutes of monthly meetings of the partners, newsletters, media, and other store and project documentation. In addition, qualitative interviews with key stakeholders and co-op members were conducted. All of the participating individuals were interviewed during 2008 and analysis took place in 2010. Each interview was audio-taped and transcribed to form verbatim transcripts, then content analyzed for themes.
RESULTS: The implementation phase of the initiative had long-standing negative repercussions on the ability of the store to be successful because of renting too large a space; not branding the store early; early misperceptions by community members about the store; and the changing of organizational partners and personnel, which resulted in a lack of leadership for the store. Equally important, the lack of project personnel or consultants with business experience directly related to operating a food store reverberated into issues related to marketing, price structuring, decisions about stocking the store, as well as accounting.
CONCLUSIONS: Repercussions of these challenges included unmet goals in terms of attracting local residents to become members of the co-op, low sales levels, and reduced confidence in the long-term sustainability of the food cooperative. Approaches to modifications of local food environments are likely to require additional resources beyond funding in order to secure positive outcomes.