Somerville Resources Impact post

Team: Tuyen Bui, Hayley Song, Deborah Chen

Our goal was to raise awareness of food insecurity in Somerville and highlight ways in which people can help. We focused on the Somerville Backpack program and the Somerville Growing Center.

We had a discussion around who to target as our audience – either food insecure youth or a more general audience. In the end, we decided we could create a bigger impact by inviting people in Somerville to understand how they can get involved with organizations that work toward alleviating food insecurity. The main impact would be if the video inspired people who didn’t know about these places to get involved or donate. Additionally, one of the organizations we featured, the Somerville Backpack program, emphasized that they wanted to stay very low key to the kids they delivered meals to, as they do not interact with them outside of their teacher, but always needed more private donations and volunteers!

Link to video:

To evaluate it, we first send a draft of our video to the Backpack program to get their feedback – our criteria for success is if they would find it an effective tool for outreach. They suggested we separate out the footage to make it easier to share. For our opening scene, we inadvertently sent the wrong message by unintentionally showing a “dirty fridge,” which could promote stereotypes of food insecurity. The Somerville Growing center liked the macro introduction to food insecurity at the beginning, but wanted to see a longer, more detailed introduction.

We also surveyed members of our “general audience” to see if the video would inspire them to volunteer. Here is the pre and post survey. In some cases, we recorded the responses in person.

Jay, divorced 45, 2 kids, who does not have enough time to volunteer, but believes in food pantries and shelters for food resources. He liked the video and thought we could be more clear about identifying the type of people that care about food insecurity.

Irene, 70 was willing to volunteer for the Somerville Backpack program after watching our video. However it turned out us introducing the program to her probably played a larger role – perhaps the video is better suited for jumpstarting a conversation in person.

Overall, we believe that the work we’ve done has potential, and initial feedback from the organizations we featured were encouraging. However, there’s work to be done before sending it out to a wider audience.

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