Follow our “#CG2018 Stories” blog series for updates, information and stories about Common Ground 2018. This guest blog from staff at The Food Trust, who are hosting no less than eight Common Ground conversations this year, in neighborhoods across the city.
It’s no secret that our health is deeply linked to the economic and social conditions of the neighborhoods in which we live.
Accessing healthy food is a challenge for many people, particularly those living in under-resourced areas and communities of color. Conditions that affect health – social determinants including the presence of healthy food – vary immensely by neighborhood, and greatly impact diet-related diseases and health outcomes for all residents.
It is our mission at The Food Access Raises Everyone (FARE) Project to connect and support organizations and individuals working to improve food access in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County’s underserved neighborhoods. By promoting technical assistance, leveraging resources and bringing people together, The FARE Project and our partners are strategically building access and demand for healthy food among our neighbors.
Our stakeholders desire increased collaboration and participation; we’ve addressed those requests by making connections and hosting convenings that encourage partners to break down the silos in our work, develop collaborations with related programs and individuals, and build a participatory movement in which they are all included. And we are taking that participation a step further by hosting a series of Common Ground conversations at partner sites across the region on June 24.
These conversations provide us with the opportunity to spotlight the great work of our partners, and for residents to connect directly with these community assets. Participants will have the chance to learn more about thriving urban agriculture projects in Hough, Ohio City and Kinsman, visit a farmers market in Kamm’s Corners that links growers and community every week, or explore a new grocery store bringing fresh healthy food to residents in a former food desert in Euclid.
These conversations also provide us with the opportunity to reach deeply into neighborhoods, hear what people are experiencing on the ground through discussions about what supports or constricts neighborhood health, and envision places where everyone has access to nutritious food… but also secure and affordable housing, well-paying jobs, safe places to play and exercise, fresh air, clean water, and more.
Later this summer, we’ll springboard from talking about healthy neighborhoods to demonstrating what they could look like. In partnership with Open Streets Cleveland on August 18, The FARE Project will build upon the vision of these conversations, highlighting partners and programs that directly benefit the health of residents and neighborhoods, and growing the movement of individuals and organizations committed to supporting food access, healthy neighborhoods, and equitable communities across our region.