Re/Storing Nashville

Building a Faith-Based Movement to Increase Low-Income Residents' Access to Full-Service Grocery Stores

Field of Work: Increasing access to healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods

Problem Synopsis: In low-income neighborhoods, healthy, affordable food is often difficult to obtain, public transportation to full-service grocery stores is inadequate, and childhood obesity is a serious problem.

Synopsis of the Work: Re/Storing Nashville built a broad, faith-based movement to raise awareness about food-related issues and address childhood obesity in three neighborhoods. With community partners, the project secured policy changes to improve access to healthy foods and used the Internet and social media to focus the conversation about childhood obesity on community, rather than individual, responsibility.

Key Results

  • Re/Storing Nashville worked with a coalition of partners, including interfaith and social service groups, community centers and food banks, involved more than 90 houses of worship as advocates, engaged more than 100 Nashville area students in interfaith dialogue and leadership training and built a leadership team of neighborhood residents. To guide their efforts, project staff developed and disseminated a 75-page toolkit, “From Charity to Justice: Building a healthy and equitable food system through faith and community action.”

    The project team also promoted policy and environmental changes, including developing a mobile grocery store, educating state legislators about food deserts, recruiting grocery store chains to the community, and advocating for better transportation options to improve access to healthy food. The project Web site includes news and information about the project, as well as “Grocery Stories” in which neighborhood residents describe their efforts to shop for healthy foods. Project staff also established a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter site.