Annual Award

2014 CCPH Award Recipient

Food Dignity

Read the press release announcing the award!

Reviewers had the challenging task of recommending a 2014 award recipient from many qualified applications. This year's recipient is Food Dignity, a community-campus partnership involving five comTop producing gardener Paul Thomas, ever-vigilant, tackles some weeds at his plot in the Cornell community gardenmunity partners, three academic institutions and one “action-think” tank (listed below). The purpose of the partnership is to learn how the people in the five communities strive to build sustainable community food systems to reduce food insecurity. Food Dignity's adherence to the principles of partnership and its use of community-based participatory research (CBPR) were singled out as hallmarks. Reviewers were impressed with the partnership's "ability to assess intervention in multiple diverse settings and combine a CBPR approach with real service in the community" and overwhelmingly praised the partners' honesty and self-reflection in describing their challenges and how they dealt with them. One reviewer remarked on how thoughtfully the Food Dignity partnership was initiated with “capacity building and mutual respect and commitment to mutual process and reflection,” concluding that “this is an outstanding model of collaborative partnership work!”  

Women of Food DignityThe Food Dignity community partners all struggle with historical trauma and severe deprivation associated with poverty and exclusion from the mainstream economic system, including access to fresh, healthy food. Project funding provides a community food system organizing support package to each community over five years to use as it determines best to address the problem of food insecurity. The academic partners provide support for the communities and provide capacity for documenting progress and accomplishments. The partnership has evolved out of a deep commitment to community-driven process. Over the first three years of the work,significant struggles in community-campus relationships have emerged and demanded the attention of all partners. With substantial hard work and intention to identify, name and address these challenges of differential power and privilege, the partnership has produced important learning—in both understanding how to build a sustainable community food system and in building and maintaining healthy, productive relationships between community and academic partners. None of this work has been easy. Yet with passion, persistence and commitment the partnership continues to evolve and grow. The partnership documents these lessons and shares the lessons in a variety of professional and community venues.

Food Dignity team touring D-Town Farms in DetroitEast New York Farms!, Brooklyn, NY - David Vigil, Director and Daryl Marshall, Community Organizer
Whole Community Project, Ithaca, NY - Jemila Sequiera, Director
Feeding Laramie Valley, Laramie, WY - Gayle Woodsum, Founder & Director
Blue Mountain Associates, Wind River Reservation, WY - Virginia Sutter, Founder & Director
Dig Deep Farms & Produce, unincorporated San Leandro, CA - Marty Neideffer, Co-founder and Director
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY - Scott Peters, Lead Investigator at Cornell
Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY - Amy Frith, Julia Lapp and Alicia Swords, Lead Investigators at IC 
Center for Popular Research, Education and Policy, Oakland, CA - Hank Herrera, President & CEO
University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY - Christine Porter, Division of Kinesiology and Health, Food Dignity Project Director and Principal Investigator

For more information, read Food Dignity's application, view its website or contact:

Christine Porter
Assistant Professor of Public Health
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY 
Phone: (307) 766-2143