Algoma Public Health and the Bee-Hive: Good Food, New Friends Program Case Study Report

Submitted by
 
Michaela Hynie
York Institute for Health Research, Program Evaluation Unit
York University

Carolyn Steele Gray
University of Toronto

January 2011

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Introduction

This case study report overviews and evaluates the joint pilot project called “Good Food, New Friends,” a community kitchen program that was implemented by Algoma Public Health and the Bee-Hive (a consumer/survivor initiative). The Good Food New Friends (GFNF) program is one of six pilot programs funded by CMHA Ontario’s Minding Our Bodies (MOB) Eating Well for Mental Health program. This report is intended to provide evaluative feedback to the MOB Program Leaders, Advisory Committee, Algoma Public Health and Bee-Hive staff regarding the community kitchen. The evaluative analysis includes context, input, process and product evaluation questions set out in the original Minding Our Bodies evaluation proposal that can be answered by examining the individual pilot programs. This case study report provides feedback on the goals, development, implementation, outputs and short-term outcomes of the pilot program in relation to the MOB program goals and objectives. The final MOB Eating Well for Mental Health program evaluation report draws upon this and other case study reports in order to determine whether the MOB program met its short-term goals, unfolded as planned, and how it could be improved.
 

Summary

Overall, the GFNF program was able to meet many of the goals of the MOB program. Client outcomes demonstrate early improvements in physical and mental health, as well as improved social inclusion. The program was able to build on the community of practice in Elliot Lake by supporting new partnerships between APH, the Bee-Hive and other local organizations and experts. The amount of communication between partners, however, was unclear, and the type of communication seemed to be mostly informal. APH and the Bee-Hive also connected with other MOB pilot sites through the teleconferences and a new relationship between NISA and Bee-Hive was developed.

The GFNF program was able to meet a number of the organizational goals of APH and Bee-Hive through teaching clients skills to help improve client functioning, building social inclusion and a sense of belonging, and by promoting independence in clients. This last goal, while already important to the Bee-Hive is not a goal explicitly recognized by APH. The APH program leader was confident this program demonstrated to APH board members that promoting independence through programs was an important goal and should be included in the community health and addictions mandate.
 

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Good Food, New Friends Program Case Study Report1.62 MB