Sunday, March 4, 2012

Volunteers with Surveys

Write another paper or conduct a few surveys - which to choose? Students attending Philip Mancus's Intro to Sociology class this semester had the choice. 14 College of the Redwood students chose to administer at least 10 of CAN's Household Food Security Surveys and hand in a written reflection on the experience by the end of spring break.

It's a 50 question survey tailored to assess the food needs in our community. Much of it deals with whether or not a household struggles to keep its members fed, how frequently this happens, and how severe it is.The latter part of the survey asks about the shopping and eating habits of a household. The underlying question of this portion? Just how accessible is food in Del Norte?

Darla McDougall is one of the CR students who volunteered on Friday.
Many of the students who signed on were eager to get started. They had ideas about where to take their surveys - to the dock, to their neighbors, to a community center. This past Friday a group of 6 volunteered to administer surveys at DHHS. Some were nervous at first and said they didn't really know how to ask a person to volunteer such sensitive information. Being rejected right away by a few people didn't make it any easier. But once they got going, things got better. One volunteer, Sandie Keuth, said that she could relate to the stories she was told, and she felt for these people. There was more than one person she was happy she met that day.
Dale Patton looks over a survey.

There were around 100 completed surveys before the sociology class got to it. Community Food Council for Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands hopes to reach 500 by May. Once the goal is reached, there will be a drawing for survey participants to win a Kodak Easy Share camera or one of several gift certificates. The information collected will be analyzed by the California Center for Rural Policy - their report will be released publicly and used to improve our food system.

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