Sunday, April 26, 2009

Turf Community Food Survey Results

Understanding community residents’ knowledge of the food available in our neighborhood is important to Turf as we develop our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program. We wanted to know if there is an interest, need, and demand for local food in our community, in addition to learning if residents’ are willing to develop and support sustainable agriculture projects in our community.

From January 2009 to March 2009, Turf conducted our Community Food Survey to gather this important information from residents. We surveyed residents at PEP (Parkchester Enhancement Program) for Seniors, our neighborhood Starbucks and library, and at St. Raymond Community Outreach. In addition, Turf posted the survey on our blog which allowed community residents to participate in the survey on-line. Many residents surveyed were from single-person and single-parent households. Also, residents surveyed come from African American, Latino, Asian, South Asian, Jewish, and West Indian households.

Some survey results include:

--58% of the residents surveyed rated the vegetables and fruit available in our neighborhood as fair

--63% of the residents surveyed say the cost of vegetables and fruits is average
--Most residents surveyed pay $25 or more for vegetables and fruit weekly and 84% buy them in the neighborhood at Chang Li Supermarket, C-town, Fine Fair, Food Town, local delis and food stands, Gourmet Garage, and Key Food. A few residents go outside the neighborhood and shop at Pathmark, Trader Joe’s, and Union Square’s Farmers Market
--97.6% of the residents surveyed specifically by fresh vegetables and fruits weekly
--73% of the residents surveyed have, at one time, purchased vegetables and fruits either at a farmers market or directly from a local farmer
85% of the residents surveyed would be interested in buying vegetables through a CSA.

Unlike the community residents that participated in our Sustainable Agriculture Workshops, who expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality of food in the neighborhood and notice a distinct difference between locally grown food and the food available in our neighborhood, many of the residents that participated in our Community Food Survey, rated the vegetables and fruits available as fair. Turf will be doing further community studies to continue to understand residents’ knowledge of food available in the community. This recent survey will be given to our local farmer for her to gain a better sense of the community she is serving and to Just Food (who provided us with the template for this survey) to use in their evaluation of programs and services offered to community groups such as Turf.

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