1 in 5 people in Marin County are at risk of food insecurity. Some suffer from food insecurity more than others; race matters.
Marin County's food distribution systems are fragmented, leaving people without access to healthy food when they need it. The Food Now Task Force is setting out to enhance the existing food distribution systems to include mobile markets, food pharmacy, screenings, and referrals.
What is the Food Now Task Force doing?
We are putting into practice principles set forth by the 2018 Marin Health and Human Services Strategic Plan, which focuses on health and wellness equity, to transform systems that are failing communities of color by embracing a culture where client and community needs come first and providing those services and resource they need. The ability to physically access healthy and local food close to home at supermarkets, grocery stores, and other retail food outlets is critical to food security and overall health outcome. 11% of stores in the Canal neighborhood and 0% of stores in Marin City met “Neighborhood Food Store Quality” standards indicating whether local stores were safely accessible to neighborhood residents and offered healthy, affordable foods. The Food Now Task Force is committed to addressing these barriers and increasing access to culturally healthy food to those in need.
By 2021, our goal is to enhance the food distribution system in Marin by providing an additional 70,000 meals.
How are we Accomplishing our goal?
Food Now Strategies:
1. Mobile Market
2. Food Pharmacy
3. Home Delivered Meals
4. Healthy Food and Beverage Standards
- Increase food access among low income residents in Marin County.
- Provide nutrition education to Rollin' Root customers in an effort to to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
- Recruit and train local community members to be Older Adult Ambassadors to promote food access through the mobile market.
- Expansion of the number of routes. Check out their home page for the most up to date list of routes, stops and hours.
- Rollin' Root now accepts CalFresh, senior bonus bucks, cash and credit. They also offer a Market Match of up to $10 per day for every CalFresh household.
- Nutrition education - need update from AIM
"The Rollin’ Root will go a long way to help make food more easily accessible."
-Joe O'Hehir, CEO Whistlestop
Total meals provided by Rollin' Root between August and November 2018
The graph on the right, shows how many meals were provided each month. Meals provided is calculated by dividing the totals sales by the average cost of a meal. In Marin County the average cost of a meal is $4.01 (https://www.feedingamerica.org/)
The above graph shows the usage of CalFresh (EBT), Market Match, and Bonus Bucks among participants since October 2018.
- Combine fresh, healthy options from the food bank with bio-marker measurements and healthy cooking demos.
- Decrease food insecurity amongst Marin City residents with a specific focus on those with at risk for hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
- Increase knowledge and positive behavior around healthy foods.
- To date 5, 12 week programs has been implemented in collaboration with the Marin County Nutrition Wellness Program and the SF-Marin Food Bank.
- Administer pre/post patient survey to assess participants: bio-markers, attitude and behavior towards health positive foods, and food insecurity.
- Weekly healthy food preparation demonstration and physical activity classes are incorporated into the program.
Total meals provided by Food Pharmacy between November 2017 and April 2019.
The above graph show total pounds of food distributed and the number of meals that equates to. Total meals is calculated by pounds of distributed divided by 1.3 pounds. 1.3 pounds was determined to be the average weight of a meal by the "Missing Meals" in San Francisco and Marin Report 2019 ,
Over 40% reported not having enough food to last them through the month.
The 2 graphs on the left demonstrate food insecurity in Marin City. Food Pharmacy participants were surveyed before and after the intervention. There have been 4 cohorts overall, only 3 are represented because there wasn't sufficient data collection in cohort 1. Click on the legend to highlight specific cohorts.
The graph above represents how participants used resources to obtain food within the last month before and after the Food Pharmacy intervention. One participant may use many different methods to obtain food within a month; therefore, the graph shows what percentage of participants utilized each specific resource. For example; 40% of respondents used a food pantry and 12% said they used CalFresh to obtain some of their food before the intervention where as after the intervention 44% used a food pantry and 16% used CalFresh.
Home Delivered Meals
- Implement bi-directional referral system to ensure that all low-income home-bound seniors and younger adults with disabilities and/or chronic illness have access to the nutritious food they need.
- Streamline in-take process for referral to home delivered meal programs
- Identify gaps and ensure continuum of services
- Train organizations on referral process and safety net services provided
- Begin pilot testing of Norcal Resources with home delivered service providers.
Coming Fall 2019
Healthy Food and Beverage Standards
- Supporting access to food that supports health for people and the planet by developing health food and beverage guidelines
- Encourage member agencies that donate and distribute food to the community to adopt the food and beverage guidelines.
- Food Now Task Force Member will adopt the Healthy Food and Beverage Guidelines (will post final guidelines on HEAL webpage and provide link here).
- Host community workshops to engage organization in adopting healthy food and beverage guidelines.
coming Fall 2019
Partners involved in this intervention are a mixture of programs dedicated to achieving equity and equal access within the community.