By Nicholas Freudenberg, Faculty Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
For the last five years, our Institute has been evaluating community food programs in 14 New York City neighborhoods. From my own participation and observation in these evaluation studies, I have come to appreciate both the positive and negative roles that evaluation can play in community food programs and also some of the dilemmas these efforts face. In this commentary, I describe some of the lessons from these experiences and raise some questions about evaluation for the food policy and food justice communities to consider. My goal is to help ensure that five years from now, we know more about what does and doesn't work to create healthier food environments in New York City.