Title

Forms of Community Engagement in Neighborhood Food Retail: Healthy Community Stores Case Study Project

Authors

Ravneet Kaur, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Rockford, IL 61107, USA.
Megan R. Winkler, Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Sara John, Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1250 I St NW, Floor 5, Washington, DC 20005, USA.
Julia DeAngelo, Departments of Health Policy Management & Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Rachael D. Dombrowski, Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, College of Education, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.
Ashley Hickson, Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1250 I St NW, Floor 5, Washington, DC 20005, USA.
Samantha M. Sundermeir, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Christina M. Kasprzak, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA.
Bree Bode, Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, College of Education, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.
Alex B. Hill, Urban Studies and Planning and Detroit Food Map Initiative, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.
Emma C. Lewis, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Uriyoan Colon-Ramos, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 950 New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Jake Munch, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 75080, USA.
Lillian L. Witting, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, 950 New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, DC 20052, USA.
Angela Odoms-Young, Division of Nutritional Science, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Joel Gittelsohn, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Lucia A. Leone, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-7-2022

Journal

International journal of environmental research and public health

Volume

19

Issue

12

DOI

10.3390/ijerph19126986

Keywords

case study approach; community engagement; community food stores; cross-case analysis; healthy food retail; retail food environment

Abstract

Community engagement is well established as a key to improving public health. Prior food environment research has largely studied community engagement as an intervention component, leaving much unknown about how food retailers may already engage in this work. The purpose of this study was to explore the community engagement activities employed by neighborhood food retailers located in lower-income communities with explicit health missions to understand the ways stores involve and work with their communities. A multiple case study methodology was utilized among seven retailers in urban U.S. settings, which collected multiple sources of data at each retailer, including in-depth interviews, store manager sales reports, store observations using the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey for Stores, public documents, and websites. Across-case analysis was performed following Stake's multiple case study approach. Results indicated that retailers employed a wide variety of forms of community engagement within their communities, including Outreach, Building Relationships through Customer Relations, Giving Back, Partnering with Community Coalitions, and Promoting Community Representation and Inclusiveness. Strategies that built relationships through customer relations were most common across stores; whereas few stores demonstrated community inclusiveness where members participated in store decision making. Findings provide a more comprehensive view of the ways local food retailers aim to develop and sustain authentic community relationships. Additional research is needed to evaluate the impact of community engagement activities on improving community health.

Department

Global Health

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