trans•act continues to be supported by the Ford Foundation and sponsored by marketumbrella.org, to develop the following research work:
The Neighborhood Exchange Evaluation Device (NEED) is what has become of our last year’s pilot effort. One of our two 2008 trans•act fellows will be working with the senior fellow to conduct field research in eight selected farmers markets throughout the southern California area, to bring this pilot research to scale and construct a working tool to measure the social impact of farmers markets. These markets include seven operated by our new West Coast partner Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA), and one operated by Kaiser Permanente (KP). This effort is supported by and collaborated with Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), who has graciously allowed the “FMC fellow” title for Mike. We are also grateful that KP is supporting this work, financially as well as programmatically.
The Sticky Economic Evaluation Device (SEED), marketumbrella.org's existing economic impact analysis tool, will be under trans•act, and this summer we will be conducting a “past analysis” of the tool’s efficacy and usefulness as well as developing an improved version that is more user-friendly. We will get in touch with all markets around the country who have deployed the SEED tool, and survey the impact of the tool We will also be helping the state of North Dakota to conduct the SEED field research state-wide, and helping the analysis effort. One of our 2008 trans•act fellows will lead this endeavor with the senior fellow's leadership.
The Food Equity Evaluation Device (FEED), our third tool of the “trilogy” is being designed starting this summer, to measure the farmers market’s impact on narrowing the food disparity. marketumbrella.org is working intensely with its staff on bringing new programs this fall, reflecting the learnings from last year’s trans•act pilot study, to effectuate food equity in our federal Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Senior participants and FMNP Women, Infants and Children (WIC). We are fortunate to have the Louisiana State Department of Agriculture & Forestry and Department of Health & Hospitals collaborate with us to offer FMNP WIC program in New Orleans for the first time. We are also creating a Conditional Cash Transfer program, to double the FMNP allowance for seniors as an award to sign up for a number of programs promoting active living and community participation. In a year or two, we will be ready to launch the FEED pilot study.
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