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  • Community Food Project Evaluation Toolkit

    ________________________________________________

    COMMUNITY FOOD SECURITY COALITION

    Sponsor: USDA Community Food Projects Program

    Author: National Research Center, Inc.

    Third Edition, 2006

  • Community Food Project

    Evaluation Toolkit

    COMMUNITY FOOD SECURITY COALITION

    Community Food Security Coalition PO Box 209

    Venice, CA 90294 Phone: 310-822-5410 www.foodsecurity.org

    Sponsor: USDA Community Food Projects Program

    Author: National Research Center, Inc. 3005 30th Street, Boulder, Colorado 80301

    Phone: 303-444-7863 nrc@n-r-c.com www.n-r-c.com

    First Edition, 2003

    Second Edition, 2004 Third Edition, 2006

    Copyright © 2006 by National Research Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

    We welcome limited duplication of contents of the Community Food Project Toolkit for non-profit and educational purposes. Please credit the source in all copies, and if possible, include this page.

  • Community Food Security Coalition i

    A hearty thanks to the following Community Food Project grantees for the cover photos they shared of their project activities. Starting from the top left: Photo # 1 Volunteer for the Re-Vision Urban Farm shows off the lettuce harvest Submitted by Laurell Sims Re-Vision Urban Farm Dorchester, MA laurell@re-visionfarm.org www.re-visionfarm.org Photo #2 Cultivating Community Youth Growers and staff working to build food security and promote social and environmental justice Submitted by Craig Lapine Cultivating Community Portland, ME clapine@cultivatingcommunity.us Photo #3 Drummers lead community members to the 'Blessing of the Seeds' ceremony at House of Mercy, Des Moines, IA before planting a perennial edible landscape Submitted by Rick Hartmann and Teva Dawson Digging Deeper Project, Practical Farmers of Iowa Des Moines, IA hartmann@practicalfarmers.org and tldawson@dmgov.org www.dmparks.org Photo #4 Cambodian youth show off gourds at a harvest festival farmers' market Submitted by Jennifer Hashley New Entry Sustainable Farming Project Boston, MA jennifer.hashley@tufts.edu www.nesfp.org Photo #5 (Paper copy only) Cultivating Community's network of urban gardens includes this garden at the City of Portland's Oxford Street Homeless Shelter. Submitted by Craig Lapine Cultivating Community Portland, ME clapine@cultivatingcommunity.us

  • Community Food Security Coalition ii

    Overview The Community Food Project Evaluation Toolkit (Toolkit) is a hands-on workbook designed to help community food project (CFP) staff conduct evaluations of their programs to develop the kind of information that will be compelling not only to fellow staff but to funders, participants and community residents. Packed with user-friendly tools as well as guidance for planning and administration, the Toolkit offers a concentrated blend of general, project-level and system-level instruments to address the diversity of community food project outputs and outcomes. The Toolkit is divided into three parts (general evaluation tools, project-level evaluation tools and system-level evaluation tools) and includes eight distinct chapters. The Table of Contents outlines in detail the various parts and chapters of the Toolkit and can help the reader find a specific topic or tool of interest. For ease in customization, a “Tools-Only” version of the Toolkit has been provided on CD-ROM and is attached to the inside back cover of this text. Readers will find new content and improved organization in this third edition of the Community Food Project Evaluation Toolkit. New to this third edition, is a chapter on focus groups and interviews (Chapter 3) as well as a chapter on food coalitions, networks and councils (Chapter 8). In addition, tools for training and technical assistance projects can be found in Part I (Chapters 2 and 3).

  • Community Food Security Coalition iii

    Background As a primary goal of their evaluation program, the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) wanted to provide evaluation tools that addressed the specific needs of community food projects working with a multitude of issues and and attempting to meet complex yet inter-related goals. The design of the Toolkit is based on a synthesis of Community Food Project needs that were identified through responses to extensive assessment interviews (conducted in 2003 and again in 2004) of then current CFP grantees and then by analyzing the activities and outcomes of other CFPs funded by the USDA. The Community Food Project Evaluation Toolkit was originally designed in 2003 to provide specific evaluation resources that community food projects funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) could incorporate into their evaluation plans. In addition, the Toolkit serves as a resource to help address the need for food projects and funders to have consistent evaluation measures for a growing and complex field. As a companion to the Toolkit, the Community Food Project Evaluation Handbook was developed to provide a foundation of understanding about how to conduct basic program evaluation. Both publications were funded through a CFP Training and Technical Assistance grant awarded to the Community Food Security Coalition to provide evaluation support to other CFP grantees. Now in their third edition, the Toolkit and the Handbook are available to anyone interested in program evaluation through the CFSC’s Evaluation Program or at www.foodsecurity.org (in the Publications section). National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) of Boulder, Colorado, was contracted by CFSC to provide evaluation training and technical assistance to CFPs as well as to develop a set of common evaluation tools for evaluating CFPs. NRC, in collaboration with the CFSC Evaluation Program, authored the Toolkit and the Handbook and worked closely with CFP grantees to pilot test much of the information and tools developed. Participation in the evaluation workshops offered by the CFSC and utilization of the Toolkit and the companion handbook will help community food project staff to increase their understanding of evaluation, especially as it relates to the impact of their projects. Staff will enhance their ability to perform outcome-based evaluation and to compile and present evaluation findings to project staff, the individuals their project serves, other community members and funders. The Toolkit and the Handbook are aimed at building the capacity of community food project staff to conduct their own evaluations leading to stronger programs and greater program sustainability. The CFP Toolkit was constructed as a collaboration between CFSC and NRC staff and a team of individuals from community food projects, universities and other related fields. Special thanks go to the USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program for their generous funding support for community food security projects around the country as well as their support for the growth and improvement of these projects over the duration of their grants.

  • Community Food Security Coalition iv

    Additional thanks go to the following Community Food Project grantees, Advisory Committee members and reviewers who participated in detailed reviews and pilot testing of various pieces of the Toolkit: Anne Bellows of Rutgers University Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ

    Rebecca Bond of Community Harvest, Tides Center, Washington, DC

    Raquel Bourhonesque of the Community Food Security Coalition, Venice, CA

    Kyril Calsoyas of Developing Innovations in Navajo Education, Inc., Flagstaff, AZ

    Jim Dyer of Southwest Marketing Network/Farm to Table, Hesperus, CO

    Ken Dahlberg of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

    Fern Gale Estrow of New York City Nutrition Education Network, New York, NY

    Gail Feenstra of University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program,

    Davis, CA

    Kristine Fedewa of Michigan Integrated Food and Farming Systems, East Lansing, MI

    Steve Garrett of the Washington State University, Tacoma, WA

    Mike Hamm of Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

    Jim Hanna of Coastal Enterprises, Inc., Portland, ME

    Hank Herrera of Growing Home Partnership, Rochester, NY

    Steve Hodges, Jubilee Project, Sneedville, TN

    Jeremy Hofer of Fresno Metropolitan Ministry, Fresno, CA

    Janna Howley of the Baltimore Food System Network, Baltimore, MD

    Dana Hudson of Shelburne Farms, Growing Farms Growing Minds Program, Shelburne, VT

    Eddy Jarra, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA with partners Fong-Ching Chang,

    Carol Kong, and Jennifer Price Wolf

    Paula Jones of San Francisco Food System Council, San Francisco, CA

    Anumpama Joshi of Center for Food and Justice at Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

    Marion Kalb of the Community Food Security Coalition, Davis, CA

    Brian Mathers of Lincoln Action Program, Lincoln, NE

    Tammy Morales, Research Consultant, Seattle, WA

    Fernando Ona of San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Food System

    Council, San Francisco, CA

    Barbara Rusmore of Institute for Conservation Leadership, Takoma Park, MD

    Kai Siedenburg of the Community Food Security Coalition, Santa Cruz, CA

  • Community Food Security Coalition v

    Jenifer Smith of South Plains Food Bank, Lubbock, TX

    Cathy Thwong &am