Food Uniting Neighbours (f.u.n.): Using the Co-design Process to Identify Interventions to Improve Nutritious Food Access

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University of Guelph

Most health promotion interventions use a “top-down” approach, where experts create and implement the interventions. An alternative, collaborative approach is a co-design process, which involves researchers, stakeholders, and end-users working together to produce interventions that address the unique needs of their community. The objective of this project was to describe the process used to engage end-users in the co-designing of interventions aimed at increasing nutritious food access in Onward Willow. Descriptive statistics, Dotmocracy totals, and template analysis were used to analyze end-users’ perspectives and ideas regarding future food access actions they believed would increase nutritious food access in their community. Analysis revealed that Onward Willow residents want the promotion of community, inclusivity, strong infrastructure, dignity, increased food choices, and greater access to high quality foods from future food-based programming. They prioritized grocery gift cards, transportation, workshops, garden spaces, and community cafes as action items to improve nutritious food access within their community.

Co-design, Participatory Action Research, Community research, Food access, Food Insecurity, Nutritious food access, low-income, Onward Willow, collaboration, collaborative research