Thank you, Pittsburgh, for giving residents and visitors safer streets for walking, biking, and increased physical activity!
Millions of people across the United States live in low-income areas with little or no access to supermarkets or grocery stores. In Ohio alone, nearly 2 million people are affected by this issue.
One such area is Vinton County, where in the past few years two grocery stores have come and gone, leaving residents with no options for fresh meats and produce.
“We have to take people shopping because there’s no place to shop,” says Rhoda Price, director of Vinton County Senior Services. “To pick up an average client in Vinton County we’re going to have to average at least 20 miles round trip, and it can go up as high as 60 round trip.”
But one organization, the Ohio Healthy Food Movement, wants to put an end to these hardships. “This video illustrates why funding is so critical,” said Cresha Auck Foley, the American Heart Association’s Government Relations Director for Ohio. The Ohio Healthy Food Movement is just one group hoping that funding for healthy food access can be added to the state’s budget this year.
However, they also recognize that funding might not be the end-all solution for every community. Some small town grocery stores just don’t have the buying power to acquire the healthiest options. Take for example Toledo.
“In Toledo we know that the food bank can actually buy in bulk, and then the smaller stores can purchase through them,” Foley said. “So in addition to seeking funds, we’re also trying to gather stories about places where funding wasn’t the issue―so that if communities need other solutions we can share them.”
The Ohio Healthy Food Movement most recently helped get shared use legislation passed in the state. Now, they hope that the alliances they’ve made with that work will also help work toward solutions to food access barriers.
“The community is behind efforts to do something,” said Terri Fetherolf, development director for Vinton County. “More than the economics of it and more than the health impact, I think it would bring back a sense of hope.”
To watch the full video, please click here.
Two new complete streets and equity reports have been released and are the result of a project to study equity elements in complete streets policies, the characteristics of communities with equity elements in their policies, and to qualitatively understand how equity elements in complete streets policies are being implemented in practice. Learn more about the reports here.
Eight applicants have been awarded funds that will help young students walk, bike and roll safely to and from school.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.