Presentation on theme: "DISCUSSION The culture and positive attitudes surrounding eating locally grown foods that are prominent in the Champlain Valley community extend deeply."— Presentation transcript:
DISCUSSION The culture and positive attitudes surrounding eating locally grown foods that are prominent in the Champlain Valley community extend deeply into the elderly community at PACE. However there is a large gap between attitudes and actual utilization of local foods in this group. This gap is due to several barriers; the most significant being financial. To help overcome this barrier, working within what participants are already doing with regard to cooking and grocery shopping seems the best way to introduce more local foods. Because of the participants limited physical abilities, recipes and meal options need to be kept simple for those who independently cook for themselves. Overall the elderly are a population that enjoys knowing that their food is grown locally but are often limited by a fixed monthly income. CONCLUSIONS Although the majority of the participants at PACE express great interest in purchasing local foods, significant financial barriers still remain. More research into ways to reduce the cost of buying local is needed to advocate for this ever- growing population in the community. FUTURE DIRECTIONS Maintain contact with Mary Woodruff at the Department of Disability, Aging, and Independent Living to establish a Senior Farm Share opportunity at PACE. Establish a stronger link between Hunger Free Vermont and PACE participants through peer- education and support. Continue to research alternative ways to access local foods that take cost/fixed income into consideration. Continue to revise and add information to the informational packet created. Plan healthy eating events revolving around PACE on-site garden. Consider a compost station in coordination with the Fanny Allen Campus and PACE for large amount of wasted food. This program is funded by Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center (CV AHEC) through the Student/Resident Experiences & Rotations in Community Health (SEARCH). CharacteristicN=16 Median age, years (range)73 (59-88) Requires Assistance with Shopping88% Requires Assistance with Cooking81% Table 1. Baseline Characteristics Linking Elders to Local Foods for Better Health Erin OKeefe MSW Candidate (13), Michelle VanHorne MS II, University of Vermont, Chittenden County PACE 2012 Vermont SEARCH Scholars Project BACKGROUND Previous SEARCH Scholars worked to identify the barriers that exist for elders in the community, specifically at PACE VT, to access local foods. The most significant of these barriers are financial and physical barriers preventing use of local foods. The goal of this project was to address previously identified barriers in order to increase elders access to local foods. As most elders at PACE do not do their own grocery shopping, they rely on family members or caregivers to shop and often cook. Because of this, the scope of the project was broadened to include those who care for the elders at PACE in addition to outreach to the participants. The project aimed to: 1)Determine the interest in and need for informational packets regarding local foods and health specific grocery shopping and eating. 2)Research participants needs and create an informational packet based on these outcomes. 3)Coordinate with the activities director at PACE to plan afternoon activities for participants involving local foods. METHODS Initially, we created a survey to assess the grocery shopping, cooking habits, and attitudes about local and/or fresh foods of PACE participants and their families. The survey sought to shed light on the participants needs in managing dietary needs at home, accessing local foods, and understanding how/where to access local foods easily. Using the information from the surveys, local grocery stores were contacted for a tour to demonstrate how local foods are labeled at each respective store. Healthy, simple recipes were collected, including a variety from PACE employees. Alternative ways to access local foods were researched including 3SquaresVT, Farm to Family, Senior Farm Shares, CSAs, and Community Action Programs created to help offset the cost of purchasing local foods. An informational packet was created including a comprehensive list of Chittenden County Farmers Markets and Farm Stands, information from grocery stores, and healthy recipes. This packet was distributed to participants and their families and made available for future PACE participants. A meeting was held with the dietician at PACE and the participants to plan and cook a meal that would focus on local foods. Further actions were taken to establish a wheelchair accessible garden site at PACE. PACE participant cutting local green beans for Participant Cooked Meal. PACE participant enjoying Participant Cooked Meal. Buying Vermont is good, but not as important as helping the families help the participants.-L.H. (husband of participant) RESULTS [Buying local] is the right thing to do!- L.D. (participant) FactorPercent of Surveyed Shoppers (N=9) A lotSomewhatNot at all Price56%22% Freshness67%33%0% Nutritional Quality33%67%0% Dietary Restrictions22%11%67% Convenience22%33% Preparation Time22%67%11% Familiarity67%33%0% Table 2. Degree of Consideration when Grocery Shopping Signs and labels from supermarkets locating local foods. Clockwise from top left: Shaws, Price Chopper, Hannaford. Figure 1. Reported Locations for Grocery Shopping.