i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Food Security in Rural Areas through Policy Change

Lisa Franzen-Castle

Associate Professor & Extension Nutrition Specialist

University of Nebraska, Nutrition and Health Sciences Deptartment

What is the change you are designing to achieve?

Ultimately the goal of my project is to increase access to healthy foods in rural and diverse areas of my state.

How will you measure that change?

To see if a pilot for a healthy food retail certification program is effective, a more robust evaluation is going to put into place. We are going to explore evaluating not only changes to the store environment, but also changes in store owners and customers perceptions, knowledge, and intention/behavior.

What is the innovative component or strategy you will implement as a result of the design-a-thon?

The study design for the project has changed from merely being a pilot program with a specified number of stores to using a control-treatment design with a delayed intervention. We are also going to apply for internal funds to help support these additional evaluation methods that were not currently in the original proposal. Pilot data will be used to leverage additional larger, federal funds.

How did the design-a-thon help you?

This experience helped me think about how this pilot program relates to the big picture and fundamental questions we are trying to answer. Additionally, I received wonderful ideas for how to frame a funding application to support evaluation of the pilot program


The Nebraska Urban Food Production online course will give backyard and community gardeners in Nebraska the information they need to grow and raise more food within city limits. The fee-based course will walk participants through the basics of growing and raising food in an urban setting, including everything from site evaluation and considerations of zoning regulations to harvest and handling of fresh produce. The course will provide reliable, easy-to-understand, science-based recommendations tailored to Nebraska growing conditions through interactive lessons, short video demonstrations, and links to available web resources.

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