Monday, October 29, 2007

Food Preferences Community Survey Results Released Today

Ninety-four percent of those surveyed say they would actively support new food options in the Bayview-Hunters Point.

The Quesada Gardens Initiative has grown to do local food production as a way to build community and address some serious issues in the Bayview-Hunters Point, a neighborhood where it's hard to find decent food and where health problems connected to poor nutrition are out of control. We sit with other community groups on the Southeast Sector Food Access (SEFA) Working Group helping lead a collaborative effort to address these issues.

SEFA today released findings from a new survey of 562 Southeast Sector residents, most from the Bayview-Hunters Point. Quesada Gardens and other community groups were insistent that any effort to improve neighborhood markets or to attract new ones be grounded in the community's expressed preferences. Ultimately, Queseda Gardens took the lead on a survey and marketing plan to find out what those preferences are in terms of food and types of markets, and to communicate the business opportunity that so clearly exists here.

Bayview residents have been clamoring for 20 years for quality grocery stores, and now our clamor is being heard.

Next steps include sharing detail of the survey with existing food retailers in the neighborhood to help them improve their businesses, and to advance a public relations campaign with the potential of attracting other business people who might do business in the beautiful Bayview-Hunters Point.

Significant Survey Findings Include:

Most residents buy their food outside of the neighborhood. Over half (58%) say they frequently buy their groceries at Safeway in other neighborhoods.

Four out of five respondents say “freshness” is the most important factor when choosing a place to shop for food; far more than those who prioritize affordability and other factors.

Survey respondents care about values associated with workers’ rights and organic foods. A majority (58%) want a co-op market; and over half (53%) say it is “most important” that foods be free of pesticides and chemicals, and be grown by local farmers who treat farm workers fairly.

Related Statistics:

The BVHP has the highest rate of all San Francisco neighborhoods in ambulatory hospitalizations for adult uncontrolled diabetes and congestive heart failure, and also accounts for a disproportionate share of deaths from hypertension/heart disease. [San Francisco Department of Public Health, 2004 Community Health Assessment.]

Grocery Leakage in the Bayview-Hunters Point has reached $38 million and is getting worse. [Social Compact]
There can be no doubt that our community is hungry for new and better food options. One survey respondent said:

I envision a day when there is a Safeway and a Trader Joe’s out here, along with Third Street being lined with produce markets, bakeries, flower shops, ice cream stores, coffee shops, deli, pizza, cafes, video stores, and the like. If someone was to say, Impossible! I would question their commitment to creating a healthier, safer, and happier neighborhood. In the meantime, I would settle for a safe place to just stop off and buy what I need for dinner.
That's a beautiful vision, one that is shared by many others who took time to take the survey.

The Southeast Sector Food Preferences Survey was administered in English, Spanish, and Chinese between June and September of 2007. SEFA is a working group of the Mayor’s Shape Up SF Coalition, and is composed of city agencies and community based organizations such as home delivery programs, corner store conversion projects, food banks and pantries, school and community food garden projects, health care and community development initiatives.

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