recent partners & projects
Coalition to End Homelessness
Homelessness is an endemic issue throughout the United States. Often community agencies find themselves working in silos with limited resources and lacking coordination. Kitchen Table Consulting was brought on board by the Health and Human Services Agency’s Housing Options for Mendocino (HOMe) Team, in partnership with the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC) to formulate an Action Plan for a comprehensive, collaborative, systematic approach to end homelessness in Mendocino County. Kitchen Table Consulting designed an extensive facilitated process with local community members, service providers, law enforcement agencies and government leaders from the Cities of Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg to create a strategic plan, steps for immediate action, and continued collaboration through working group development and guidance.
Local Food, Local Places
Numerous communities throughout the United States are seeking facilitated assistance to build their local food systems and revitalize their downtown and local economies. Kitchen Table Consulting delivered technical assistance for the EPA Local Food, Local Places program to communities in Farmington, NM and Phoenix, AZ. By working with local steering committees, KTC helped bring together a diverse community of stakeholders for two days of facilitated community workshops - resulting in detailed Action Plans and follow up guidance for implementation.
In 2018 Local Foods, Local Places supported 16 locally led, community-driven efforts to protect air and water quality, preserve open space and farmland, boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, improve access to healthy local food, and promote childhood wellness.
Climate-Friendly Food Service
We can’t begin to affect climate change impacts if we don’t address school food. Enter, a few projects to help Friends of the Earth’s Food & Technology team advocate for healthy, climate-friendly food in K-12 and college campuses. Jen acted as organizer, vision-sharer and facilitator of a number of Healthy, Climate-Friendly Food Service regional forums and facilitated a group of coalition partners. She is also co-author of a national report Scaling Up Climate-Friendly School Food: Recipes for Success. Blended burgers are the vehicle for change on college campuses, through the Better Burger Campaign. KTC took the lead on this campaign, crafting messages and conducting individual outreach to hundreds of university and college food service and sustainability leaders and helped some of them introduce this concept, all the while, helping to build the supply chain. Let’s get plant-powered!
Neighborhood Resiliency Initiative
Healthy communities are active, participatory communities. Miles developed the Neighborhood Resilience Plan for the City of Ukiah, CA to empower neighbors in the creation of beautiful, safe, and healthy neighborhoods. He is the lead organizer in the engagement of multi-lingual and diverse neighborhoods to assess their needs, develop action plans, and implement strategies for neighborhood leadership and advocacy. An essential element of the process is facilitating collaboration between neighbors, City agencies, North Coast Opportunities – Community Action Agency, and relevant community stakeholders.
Partnerships To Improve Community Health
Jen directed a 2.5 year Partnerships to Improve Community Health grant funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that took the conversation from public health to the community! She led a local team to implement systems, policy and environment change in food systems and clinical settings, and piloted a Wellness Rx at a Tribal Health center.
Community Health Improvement Plans
Agencies throughout the country are developing these plans to improve local health determinants and to be compliant with state and federal regulations. Miles and Healthy Mendocino partnered with Mendocino County’s Community Action Agency, Community Health Clinics, Health and Human Services Agency, and Ukiah Valley Medical Center to create a unique collaborative that developed and completed a cooperative Community Health Needs Assessment. With the Assessment’s results, Miles facilitated a community summit and multi-stakeholder action planning as the foundation for Mendocino County’s Community Health Improvement Plan.
Mendocino County Food Action Plan
The food movement has been an important engine for reinvigorating declining agricultural bases and depressed economies throughout the U.S.. Miles was the lead facilitator of a two-year community engagement process to compile the guiding principles, goals, and actions in the Mendocino County Food Action Plan. KTC helped craft the communications plan for the launch of this living, guiding document for the Mendocino County Food Policy Council and the multiple and diverse stakeholders involved in its formation. This plan continues to drive the process of the regional food movement.
Food Purchasing Policy and Legislative Analysis
The Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative brings together sustainable farmer, environmental, public health, social and economic justice, and animal welfare organizations to bring about systemic change required to establish a sustainable and just animal agriculture system. KTC wrote two white papers for the group: One explored food purchasing policy at major restaurants, grocers, schools and hospital systems and analyzed barriers and opportunities; and the other, analyzed animal agriculture and antibiotics legislation across the United States over a 10-year period.
ECOSUR: El Colegio de La Frontera Sur
Industrial, processed food has led to a deterioration of community health and local economies throughout the State of Chiapas, Mexico. Miles was invited by ECOSUR to develop and implement a training program in Spanish for 30 teachers throughout the state. The training guided teachers in the development and execution of community-based Action Plans for the communities where they teach and live. The goals were to build and sustain healthy, community based food systems and meet the unique needs of multi-lingual indigenous communities, rural and urban centers.
Sustainability & Food Systems
Culver Academies – a co-ed boarding school in Indiana – is developing goals, plans, and programs to improve operational sustainability. Miles advised Culver Academies’ Sustainability Director in the development of an integrated institutional food system through multi-stakeholder collaboration, curricular and staff integration, and grant and revenue based funding mechanisms. He also developed professional development plans for the Academies’ institutional food service to procure, prepare and serve fresh, local produce.