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Buffalo Co-Lab

skyline of Buffalo

Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.

Heather Ross

Photo: Heather Ross
CALS '17
Burbank, CA
Massachusetts Avenue Project

The Massachusetts Avenue Project nurtures the growth of a diverse, equitable community food system to promote local economic opportunities, access to affordable and nutritious food, and social-change education. MAP hosts the Growing Green Program, a youth development and urban agriculture program about increasing healthy food access.

Work Highlights

  • Directed community outreach and canvassing to support implementation of a healthy corner store initiative on Buffalo’s West Side.
  • Created a 15 question survey for residents covering food purchasing habits, perspectives on corner stores, interest in increasing healthy food options in corner stores and demographics.
  • Trained High Road Fellows to participate in the canvassing.
  • Completed 62 surveys and then conducted a data analysis for an overall breakdown and a street by street breakdown of the results.
  • Developed a one-page summary of the survey and results.
  • Created a list of stakeholders and then conducted outreach to engage them in the initiative.

In their own words

“This summer I learned a lot about the decline in population Buffalo experienced, and the ways in which the economy and social conditions of Buffalo were affected by this change. In regards to my personal career path, I learned that I do enjoy participatory research related to health. I would like to incorporate this into my career in the future if at all possible. Lastly, I feel that living within the direct community I was working with was integral to my learning experience. I feel that because I was living in the community I was working with, I was able to engage more with the residents as I canvassed the neighborhood. I was also able to gain a real perspective on the living conditions in this area.”


"Heather's involvement in creation of the survey and coordinating canvassing efforts was incredibly valuable to MAP’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative. We welcomed the opportunity for Heather to include additional High Roaders in the canvassing in their neighborhood. She took great initiative and did a very thorough job."

Rebekah Williams, Youth Education Director
Massachusetts Avenue Project