Making Food Systems Part of Your Community Health Needs Assessment
- Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP
- Holly Calhoun
Community health needs assessments (CHNAs) are conducted every three years by nonprofit hospitals. The CHNA presents an opportunity to identify and address a broad spectrum of factors that impact health and well being in local communities. Our guidance helps hospitals assess one these factors: the community food environment.
Created by PHI’s Tackling Hunger project, Making Food Systems Part of Your Community Health Needs Assessment is a practical guide to assessing local food systems and food security. It provides links to user-friendly tools and strategies. The guide points to existing online sources of baseline data and metrics and case examples of collaborative partnerships between hospitals and food system stakeholders. It includes examples from food policy councils, food banks and pantries, and public health departments across the country.
The guide is designed to support a local dialogue that encourages stakeholders to share experiences and identify existing tools, data, and resources. This process will create synergistic linkages and an ethic of shared ownership of the community’s health and well-being.
This guidance is a collaboration between the Public Health Institute and members of the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research Evaluation Network. Tackling Hunger is supported by the AARP Foundation and ProMedica through the CDC Foundation, and is being conducted by the Public Health Institute in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tackling Hunger conducts cutting edge, actionable research and develops new tools to help health systems address food insecurity with the intention of driving innovation at the federal, state, community, and institutional levels. This guidance is the first of such tools. For more information about Tackling Hunger, visit www.phihungernet.org.