Perceived Outcomes of a Community-based Urban Agriculture and Nutrition Education Program: A Case Study of Common Good City Farm’s Green Tomorrows Program in Washington, D.C.

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Date
2014-07
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Urban farm education programs can provide opportunities for community members to acquire skills and knowledge related to agriculture, food production, and nutrition. This project proposed a case study focusing on the Common Good City Farm’s Green Tomorrows program, an urban agriculture and nutrition education program for residents of Washington D.C., which aims to increase participant level of food security, ability to grow crops in urban locations, and knowledge of nutrition, food preparation, and food budgeting. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of how effectively the Green Tomorrows program accomplished its intended program goals and outcomes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with program staff and recent regular participants to: 1) identify similarities and differences between the staff and participant stated program goals; 2) determine key program impacts on participants; and 3) generate programmatic recommendations. The semi-structured interview guides included questions that revealed staff and program graduates perceptions concerning goals and outcomes of the program. Participants described how the program’s food distribution resulted in increased consumption of produce, which contributed to improved food security. They reported greater knowledge of agricultural methods and healthy eating, and the ability to prepare and shop for healthily food post-program completion. Overall, the Green Tomorrow’s program outcomes aligned with staff and participant expectations, and positively influenced participant’s food security, knowledge of nutrition, food preparation, and food budgeting skills through the community programming activities.

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Keywords
urban agriculture, urban gardening, nutrition education, food distribution, food security
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