Planting Seeds of Change: Strategies for Engaging Asian Pacific Americans in Healthy Eating and Active Living Initiatives

May 01, 2012 | by
  • Description

This 23-page report draws on results from an innovative technique called Photovoice involving 28 community members, community-level data of 308 surveys, as well as extensive input from key stakeholders. Planting Seeds of Change highlights the complexity of engaging Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) in healthy eating and active living efforts. It discusses the opportunities and challenges of a community who has a long agrarian history and ties to the food system. It also discusses issues that come with living as an immigrant and resident in a large metropolitan area. The development of community gardens for Asian Pacific Americans was prioritized as a strategy for addressing access to healthy food, physical activity, and public open spaces. Policy recommendations call for increasing initiatives, funding, and trainings that (1) support and integrate cultural competency into community gardens' outreach, planning, and growing, (2) utilize stewardship programs to increase creation of community gardens, and (3) promote community gardens as a model for leadership development programs. Practice recommendations call for incorporating best practices that community gardens can use to increase participation of APAs in healthy food and active living initiatives, such as site assessments, intensive planning sessions with community, workshops on traditional methods and local sustainability, multi-sectoral collaboration, and creation of sustainability plans.