The Somerville Food Security Coalition (SFSC) is comprised of a diverse range of local stake-holders invested in addressing the issue of food access and food security.
The group startedmeeting in 2010 as a “Community Action Board,” spurred by interest of Tufts Community Health students working with the SHC and the Somerville Community Health Agenda. Wanting to take action, rather than just serve in an advisory capacity, the group set priorities including: securing additional cold storage to increase distribution of produce and protein, increasing localknowledge of existing resources, and learning more about how food insecurity was manifesting in Somerville and surrounding towns.
The SFSC also provided guidance for data collection projects fueled by Tufts students such as the Rapid Assessment Response and Evaluation ofFood Insecurity in Somerville and a summer research project that surveyed SNAP users.The SFSC now meets monthly, with sub-groups taking on special focus issues. The membership is open and includes non-profits, service providers, municipal and school members, businesses and residents.
Outcomes have included: fundraising for the free standing cold storage unit at Project SOUP which supports expanded food rescue capacity, annual development and updating of the Food Resource Guide of Somerville in four languages, translation of food pantry intake forms, development of the Tufts Food Rescue Network, creation of the Food Security Data Mural, and currently updating a resource website. Priorities identified for 2014 include continuing efforts to increase awareness of the issue of food security, increasing focus on youth and vulnerable populations, and expanding the Tufts Food Rescue Network.