November 15, 2017
Speakers: A. Susana Ramirez, PhD, MPH, University of California, Merced; L. Karina Díaz Rios, PhD, RD, University of California; and Zulema Valdez, PhD, University of California, Merced
Bringing Produce to the People: Implementing a Social Marketing Food Access Intervention in Rural Food Deserts
This study describes and evaluates the process of implementing a social marketing food access intervention for food desert communities in rural California. A case study approach used mixed-methods data from nationwide market comparisons, environmental assessment, and community informants. Lessons learned demonstrate room for improvement in implementing such strategies and underscore the importance of involving community in decision making; the strategic importance of operational decisions relating to intervention design, site and product selection, and distribution models; and the need to reconsider the problem of access in rural areas.
- Describe the social marketing principles for the design and implementation of food access interventions.
- Describe a mixed method case study approach used to evaluate the process of implementation of a social marketing intervention.
- Identify challenges and opportunities to improve sustainability and success of food access interventions in rural settings.
Dr. Ramirez is an Assistant Professor of Public Health Communication at the University of California, Merced. She has a doctorate in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Public Health from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Santa Clara University. She has 20 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating strategic, culturally appropriate behavior change interventions in multinational organizations. Dr. Ramirez’ program of research aims to understand the multiple levels of communication influence on health behaviors and health disparities.
Dr. Díaz Rios is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Nutrition and the Co-Director of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Merced. She obtained her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois after completing her undergraduate training in Dietetics and a Masters in Medical Sciences at the University of Guanajuato in México. Dr. Díaz Rios is a registered dietitian with experience on nutrition counseling and education in Mexico and in the U.S. Her research focuses on the development, adaptation, and evaluation of theory-based, culturally sensitive approaches to nutrition education and food access.
Dr. Valdez is an Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Merced. Her research and teaching interests include racial and ethnic relations and health disparities. She has received fellowship and grant support from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Her work has been published in many academic journals and edited volumes. She is the author of two books, The New Entrepreneurs: How Race, Class and Gender Shape American Enterprise (Stanford, 2011) and Entrepreneurs and the Search for the American Dream (Routledge, 2015). Professor Valdez is currently at work on a project examining the relationship between social entrepreneurs, community gardens, and food access in low-resource minority communities.