Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 6:30pm to 8pm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Gilliland Auditorium (66-110), Building 66, Landau Building, 25 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. MIT campus map here.
Food deserts are large geographic areas with no or distant grocery stores, high concentrations of “fast” and other “fringe” food, and worse diet-related health outcomes after controlling for other contributing factors. Please join us for this lively presentation by researcher and former community development practitioner Mari Gallagher. We welcome academics, professionals, government representatives, foundations, civic and community organizations, students and other youth, and all interested individuals. Come for the new information, as well as the refreshments, networking, and the sharing of your work, interests, and perspective!
Sponsors: MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Harvard School of Public Health.
Focus: The purpose of the forum is to raise awareness, connect interested individuals and organizations, and to support networking, shared resources and community action. We know that many talented and energized individuals and organizations are already making great strides at the community level and that local solutions can take many distinct forms: a farmers market, an exercise program, the upgrading of a corner store, the development of a full-service grocery store, diet-and-health classes, or something else entirely! Our hope is to bring everyone together so that we can begin to connect the dots, discuss strategies, showcase success stories and learn more about our common goals and how to strengthen them. To help us do this, WE WILL BE DISSIMINATING A SHORT SURVEY in advance of the forum. We hope that this is a beginning step in the development of a contact and resource guide that we can make publicly available.
If you plan to attend the forum, please email email@example.com. Please include your additional contact information, such as address and phone. Feel free to add any additional information. None of your information will be shared with anyone else outside of our forum planning committee without your explicit permission.
If you can’t attend the forum, but would like to stay in touch with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your additional contact information, such as address and phone. Feel free to add any additional information. None of your information will be shared with anyone else outside our forum planning committee without your explicit permission.
Do you know of any individuals or organizations doing any type of related work in Massachusetts or simply folks who we should be sure to invite to the forum? Or do you know of other organizations who might not be involved directly in such projects but who would be knowledgeable about others we should talk to and include? We would be grateful for your guidance and assistance. Please share contact and any other information that you might have handy by emailing email@example.com.
About the speaker: Mari Gallagher is principal of Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group (www.marigallagher.com), a nationally-known firm whose expertise includes quantitative and qualitative research projects; retail and housing market assessments; financial services, community development; the economy; public health; immigration; program evaluation and other content areas. Mari was the author of “Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago,” a breakthrough study which popularized the term “food desert” across the United States. She was the first to develop a block-by-block metric for “food deserts” and “food balance” linked with health measures and has since done similar work in Detroit, rural Michigan, Louisville, Harlem, Richmond, and other areas.Mari’s research shows that residents of food deserts die prematurely more than they would otherwise from diet-related conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Moved by Mari’s study, Congressman Bobby Rush entered food desert language into the Farm Bill, which calls for the USDA to conduct a national study.
Filed under: Civil/human rights, Food systems, nutrition, & urban agriculture, Green jobs/economy, Health disparities, Immigrant community, Local democracy & civic engagement, Transportation & infrastructure |