Local CDCs Expand How We Think About Food Distribution and Food Access

On Friday, March 28, 2014 Rise engaged 40 community development corporations (CDCs), entrepreneurs, local farmers, and other stakeholders around the relevant topic of food access within the context of place-based community development. Given that many CDCs and other community organizations are located in food deserts and/or have residents within their service area with limited access to affordable nutritious food, this workshop proved to be a timely training to explore innovative strategies and impactful solutions that increase food access by growing and sustaining the local food system. Additionally, CDCs were connected with local food producers and introduced to a variety of place-based approaches that emphasize growth and community engagement. Participants gained a greater understanding that the local food system encapsulates the distance between the food producers and consumers, as well as the characteristics along the supply chain.

Awareness, availability, accessibility and affordability were key reoccurring themes that relate to the economic impact of individuals and families, as well as communities and our local economy. This workshop discussed the importance of equitable access to good healthy and affordable food options, keeping agriculture dollars in the community, improving public health outcomes, and preserving environmental sustainability.

In many ways, Rise continues to be a regional convener of anchor institutions that shape and impact our neighborhoods. Strategic community development is more than providing housing. It’s about building strong healthy neighborhoods. More broadly, this workshop was a platform for CDCs to guide economic development that creates and sustains jobs, promotes community viability and food security, as well as engage with funders, community advocates, policy makers, government, educators and researchers.

We invite you to learn more about the presenters and their work to promote food access in their neighborhoods and throughout the St. Louis region.

Presentation Topic
Brian Hurd
Velvet Bryant
Eleanor Tutt
Presentation Overview
Community Development and the Local Food System
Community Data and Assessment: Key Indicators and Economic Impact
Charlie Hopper
Missouri Department of Agriculture
Community Development and Food Affordability: A Guiding Framework for Growth and Sustained Impact
Jeffrey Randol
Fields Foods
St. Louis Food Hub: A Unique Social Enterprise
Liz Pund
Rusty Lee
Skinker DeBaliviere Community CouncilLee Farms
Community Supported Agriculture Program Overview
Sean Thomas
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group
Grocery Co-Op: Business Plan Assessment
Karen Davis
Miranda Duschack
Lincoln University Cooperative Extension
Urban Farms and Community Gardens Overview
Urban Farms and Community Garden Maps
Sal Martinez
Paula Gaertner
Community Renewal and Development, Inc.
St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project
Elizabeth Patton-Whiteside
East Side Health District
Increased Access to Healthy Food and Outcomes Associated with Local Food Systems
Natalie Clay
Vontriece McDowell
Beyond Housing
Vision 24:1 Overview and Pagedale Food Access


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Brian Hurd

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Velvet Bryant

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Eleanor Tutt

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Charlie Hopper

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Jeffrey Randol

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Liz Pund and Rusty Lee

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Sean Thomas


Miranda Duschack


Paula Gaertner and Sal Martinez

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Elizabeth Patton-Whitside


Vontrice McDowell and Natalie Clay

For more information on this topic contact Brian Hurd, Rise Technical Assistance Program Manager at (314) 333-7012 or by email at [email protected].