Healthy Corner Stores: Response to COVID-19 and Emerging Best Practices

The Healthy Food Access Portal and The Food Trust’s Center for Healthy Food Access are hosting the webinar Healthy Corner Stores: Response to COVID-19 and Emerging Best Practices today (Wednesday, July 1) from 4 to 5 p.m. EDT.

Moderated by the Food Trust’s Juan Vila, this webinar will focus on how healthy corner store programming across the country has shifted in response to COVID-19, and what emerging best practices are being used to assist store owners. Guest speakers will include Robert Alsburg of Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE), and Ana Ramos and Jen Tepel of the Food Trust.

Click here to register

Sourced from: The Food Trust

Letting Data Lead the Way: Addressing Food and Internet Access in Syracuse

Even a few months into lockdown, we are still figuring out new ways to live, learn, work, and play. In every major facet of society, we are watching as the systems that once kept us going are breaking down. One particular area of focus has been on public education as schools close their doors and scramble to move classes online. The headlines highlight students and teachers struggling to adapt to this new mode of learning, and parents struggling to manage their kids, work, and household responsibilities simultaneously. Some school districts are choosing to shut down for the year, unable to make the transition to remote learning; some parents have flat out given up on homeschooling, unable to deal with the demands of work and their kids’ classes. Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: Data-Smart City Solutions

Gardening in the Age of COVID

Franklin County Master Gardners In Columbus, Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers are addressing food insecurity in neighborhoods throughout the city which are considered food deserts. Franklin MGVs have received exemptions to re-start four food production projects throughout the city and at Waterman Farm on The Ohio State University campus to address the increased level of food insecurity brought on by the pandemic. Franklin MGVs maintain 72 ongoing projects throughout the community. During the 2019 growing season they produced and donated 21,425 pounds of vegetables, fruit, and herbs to dozens of neighborhood food pantries in Columbus. Franklin County MGVs help maintain community gardens, urban farms, and two public fruit parks throughout the city. During 2019, 235 MGVs in Franklin County donated 16,811 volunteer hours in the community. Follow this link to learn more.

Article courtesy of Mike Hogan,  Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, Franklin County, Ohio.

Global Urban Lectures Launches its Sixth Season

UN-Habitat’s most popular video series, the Global Urban Lectures, launches its sixth season on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. With over 170,000 views from 65 countries to date, the series of 15-minute video lectures features renowned experts discussing cutting-edge research and practical recommendations on advancing urban sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals in cities. The sixth series features 10 lectures providing quick and efficient online learning tools for local government officials, students, academics, and other urban professionals at a time when meetings and lectures are cancelled.

Dr. Sahar Attia, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Cairo University and chair of UN-Habitat’s university partnership, UN-Habitat UNI, emphasizes the importance of digital learning on urban issues today: “With digital education becoming the new normal, the Global Urban Lectures offer innovative and practical distance learning not only for students, scholars, and researchers but also to a wider range of audiences interested in the challenges of cities today.” Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: UN-Habitat

Integrating a Food Systems Lens into Discussion of Urban Resilience

The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development recently published the article “Integrating a food systems lens into discussions of urban resilience: Analyzing the policy environment.” The article weaves the complexity of urban issues on sustainability and resilience with a food systems thread. One quote from the article says, “Food systems thinking holds tremendous integrative potential to address myriad, complex, and thorny issues at once, and can no longer be relegated to an afterthought.”

Sourced from: The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development

Change and Healing Through Understanding – ECOP is Responding

One effort for the Cooperative Extension System to respond to the need for dialogue to promote racial understanding and healing is Coming Together for Racial Understanding (CTRU). Seeded by ECOP in 2016, CTRU began following a similar season of anguish in our country. CTRU’s vision is to grow a community of Extension professionals ready to aid in fostering meaningful community conversations leading to positive change. Many of the trained teams across 26 states continue to work fervently, aiding both CES professionals and communities toward this vision. As work continues, three principles are clear:

  1. Dialogues are vital to understanding, and understanding is vital to healing and meaningful change.
  2. CES must do our own work around race before we can effectively engage communities.
  3. Administrative support to these teams is vital to their success.

Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: ECOP Monday Minute

Structural Racism in America

Racial and ethnic inequalities loom large in American society. People of color face structural barriers when it comes to securing quality housing, healthcare, employment, and education. Racial disparities also permeate the criminal justice system in the United States and undermine its effectiveness. At the Urban Institute, they examine how historical and ongoing public policies, institutional practices, and cultural narratives perpetuate racial inequalities and constrain mobility for communities of color. For decades, their researchers have called attention to the role of race and racism in our public and private institutions and offered evidence-based solutions for how to address these inequities. Scholars will continue to play a crucial role as we work to elevate the public discourse around race and inequality in America. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Urban Institute

A Lifeline for Older Adults in Columbus, Ohio

With a population nearing 900,000, Columbus, Ohio, is the largest municipality in the state and 14th largest in the United States. It is Ohio’s state capital as well as home to The Ohio State University and headquarters for five Fortune 500 companies. Combined with the rest of Franklin County, the area is home to about 1.3 million residents, 12 percent of who are age 65 or older. Columbus joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities  in 2015. Franklin County followed in 2018. The region’s age-friendly initiative is called Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County.

The Challenge

“When COVID hit the front pages of Central Ohio newspapers, we anticipated older adults would have limited access to resources, resulting in increased social isolation and food insecurity,” says Katie White, Director, Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County. “We also immediately saw that need spanned the entire county, not just Columbus.”

The Response

The age-friendly group sprang into action, contacting community partners that have a continual pulse on needs, challenges, and opportunities throughout the region. Students, staff, and faculty volunteers from The Ohio State University College of Social Work speak by phone with older adults in the community, providing an opportunity for older people to socialize and get questions answered without the fear of contracting COVID. Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: Cities Speak