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CPPW in Action

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CPPW communities—including urban, small, rural, and tribal areas—are implementing environmental changes to make healthy living easier for Americans.

Thirty–nine (39) communities are improving health through implementation of polices, practices and evidence–based strategies that improve access to nutritious foods to prevent obesity. These targeted interventions include limiting the availability of unhealthy food and drink within schools, improving access to healthy food and beverages through farmers' markets and healthy corner stores, and greater support for breastfeeding within the workplace. Below are a few examples of the many innovative successes already achieved by CPPW communities as of June 30, 2011.

Successful implementation of these evidence–based strategies will result in measurable and sustainable change and improve chronic disease health outcomes over time.


North Little Rock, Arkansas, is providing increased access to healthier food and beverage options in vending machines and concession stands on city-owned properties. At least half of the food and beverages offered include healthier options, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. These food options are priced to be competitive with less healthier options. In addition, healthier food and beverages are easily identifiable by green or yellow color-coding. The changes benefit 950 city employees and the community’s 60,000 residents who access city-owned properties

The city of North Little Rock, Arkansas, now provides more opportunities for its 60,000 residents to grow fruit and vegetables. Community gardens may now be established on certain community sites, church property, and in parks. With the change, more residents now have greater access to healthy food options.

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The city of Long Beach in Los Angeles County, California, is now providing nutritious snacks and beverages in city vending machines and also at city-sponsored meetings or events. As a result, Long Beach’s 462,000 residents now benefit from healthier food and beverage options.

In San Diego, California, the Fresh Fund Program is providing at least 7,500 recipients of federal food assistance with $20 in matching funds for every $20 spent at local farmers’ markets on fruits and vegetables. Program participants, who include CalFresh (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Supplemental Security Income recipients, may use Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) to receive the match for the purchase of additional healthy food items.

In California, Los Angeles County’s three public hospitals achieved “Baby Friendly” certification, indicating that they provide optimal levels of care for infant feeding and breastfeeding promotion. The hospitals—Los Angeles County-USC (LAC+USC) Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Olive-View-UCLA Medical Center—serve primarily low-income families who often have higher-risk pregnancies. To support healthy babies, the hospitals assist mothers with initiating breastfeeding after they give birth and ensure that they only provide breast milk to newborns. About 6,000 births take place at the hospitals each year.

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Tri-County Health Department in Colorado has worked with 14 school districts in the area to ensure healthier standards for foods and beverages served in school. These standards are based on the Institute of Medicine recommendations which call for the provision of nutritious fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat milk. The districts also encourage non-food or healthy food-related parties or rewards in the classroom. Nearly 232,750 students now benefit from these changes.

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In Pinellas County, Florida, the city of Clearwater has increased access to healthy foods in city vending machines for its 1,600 employees. The city’s Wellness Policy now encourages employees to use break times for physical activity. To encourage breastfeeding, additional break time is being provided to nursing mothers, who are hourly employees, to express breast milk.

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, the 816,000 residents of North Miami, LittleOpa-Locka, Brownsville, 79th street, Downtown, and Homestead, now have access to fresh fruits and vegetables at seven newly opened or improved local farmers’ markets. The markets accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. Customers who use these benefits receive an additional $10 in produce for every $10 spent on fruits and vegetables.

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In DeKalb County, Georgia, employees and clients of the board of health may now breastfeed or express milk in board facilities. The board serves 125,000 clients annually and has 600 employees.

In DeKalb County, Georgia, the 14,150 residents of the East Lake neighborhood now have access to locally grown produce. The East Lake Farmers Market has added an urban farm with 75 raised beds and a mobile greenhouse.

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Kauai, Hawaii residents now have access to more affordable, healthy foods at farmers’ markets across the island. Merchants may now sell minimally-processed products at the markets, such as honey and dried fruit, if they are made on the island. Prices of locally produced food are generally lower than similar items imported to the island. The changes benefit Kauai’s 67,000 residents.

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In Cook County, Illinois, Vanguard Medical Group Hospitals have implemented healthier standards for beverages sold in vending machines. Less healthy beverages have been replaced with water, seltzer, skim or 1% milk, and 100% juice. Healthier beverage options benefit the hospitals’ 6,000 employees and the 2 million patients and visitors who receive services at the hospitals annually.

In Chicago, Illinois, an estimated 450,000 residents who live in food deserts, where access to healthy food is limited, can now purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from mobile produce carts. Licensed vendors may operate produce carts on private property and 30 designated locations throughout the city.

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Love Chapel, a Bartholomew County, Indiana food pantry, now distributes more healthy food to its 6,900 clients, as a result of increased donations of fruits and vegetables from area churches and other organizations. A communications plan that Love Chapel developed with CPPW support spurred the increased donations.

In the Evansville area of Vanderburgh County, Indiana, more than 11,000 residents now have access to fresh produce at Riverside Foods. The store, which is marked with healthy corner store signage, is located in an area where the availability of healthy food is limited. Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is accepted, ensuring Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-eligible families have access to healthy food.

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Patrons of 12 Louisville, Kentucky restaurants can now make more informed food choices as a result of the availability of calorie information on menus. The change benefits an estimated 284,000 individuals who frequent these restaurants each year.

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Two public schools in the Healthy Lakes Region, Maine–Windham Primary School and Windham High School–are providing increased access to healthy food for their 1,900 students and 349 faculty members. School gardens are producing fruits and vegetables that are now being used in lunches, snacks, and catered events.

Public schools in Healthy Lakes Region and the city of Portland in Maine are now purchasing at least 25% of their food from local farmers, growers, and fishermen. In addition, cafeteria staff has received hands-on culinary training in how to prepare locally grown food for meals served to the schools’ 13,000 students.

In Maine’s Healthy Lakes Region, 6 community gardens are supplying fresh fruit and vegetables to local food pantries. The gardens produce tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, squash, greens, and root vegetables for the pantries, which serve up to 210 community members each month.

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Boston, Massachusetts, is providing more opportunities for the estimated 134,000 residents of Dorchester—the city’s largest neighborhood—to grow their own vegetables and herbs. The Nightingale Community Garden has been renovated to allow for an additional 100 plots. Gardeners also receive technical assistance in growing their own produce.

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In Minneapolis, Minnesota, more than 1,600 residents who receive federal food assistance now have greater access to healthy food at farmers’ markets. Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards may be used at most of the city’s farmers’ markets. In addition, under the “Market Bucks” incentive program, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota provides recipients five dollars in matching funds for every five dollars spent on healthy food.

The 1,000 residents of four Minneapolis, Minnesota neighborhoods now have more opportunities to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Through the Local Food Resources Hubs Network, individuals can receive low-cost seeds and seedlings and take part in gardening training and food preservation classes.

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Ten churches serving the African-American community in Southern Nevada are participating in the Body and Soul Program for healthy eating and physical activity. Fruits, vegetables, and water are now served at church functions. Wellness teams also have been established to encourage healthy eating and physical activity. The churches serve approximately 3,075 people through their congregations and community outreach.

In Southern Nevada, an estimated 20,000 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients now have greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables at three farmers’ markets. SNAP recipients may use Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) to purchase produce at these sites.

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New Mexico

New Mexico’s Jemez Health and Human Services Public Health Department and the San Diego Riverside Charter School have agreed to open the school’s gardens to the wider community creating a community garden. The partnership provides the school with increased access to local produce and opportunities for hands-on gardening experiences. In addition, school cafeteria staff are being trained to use the produce from the garden in school meals.

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New York

More than 1.2 million employees in New York City, New York, are benefitting from healthier food and beverage options at their worksites. An estimated 190 community organizations and 29 private employers have implemented worksite wellness programs that focus on improving access to healthy food options in cafeterias, vending machines, and business meetings.

In New York, New York, more than 160,750 residents of neighborhoods where access to healthy food is limited can now purchase fresh produce at 46 healthy corner stores. Signage has been provided to these stores to inform residents of healthy food availability. In addition, to encourage residents to purchase healthy food, the stores have received guidance on marketing and product placement.

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North Carolina

The Hospitality House of Boone—a homeless shelter serving 2,665 community members in the Appalachian District of North Carolina—has launched the Living Fully Wellness Program to support healthy eating and active transportation. The program provides fresh produce for shelter residents through raised garden beds. In addition, residents can use bicycles provided by the shelter for exercise or travel to jobs or interviews.

The ASU Child Development Center in Appalachian District, North Carolina, is purchasing local fruits and vegetables to include in healthy meals for the center’s approximately 70 students. To support this initiative, the Food Trust trained food service staff on how to prepare meals with local produce.

In Pitt County, North Carolina, the Oakmont Square Community Garden is providing 180 low-income residents of the surrounding neighborhood with access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

In Alleghany County in Appalachian District, North Carolina, the community’s 1,800 residents can grow their own produce at three new community garden sites that have been added at the county’s wellness center, a senior citizen center, and a low-income housing development. In addition, a local food bank is benefitting from donations of fruit and vegetables produced in the gardens.

In Pitt County, North Carolina, an estimated 500 residents of the Rountree area now have greater access to healthy foods and beverages at the Farmers’ Fresh Market, which sells fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food items. Previously, Rountree was a food desert, where the availability of healthy food and beverage options was limited.

As part of the “Take Step Two” initiative for its 800 employees, the city of Greenville in Pitt County, North Carolina, is now making healthier and more affordable food and beverages available in vending machines and at city meetings. Among the changes, water is priced lower than other beverages. In support of physical activity, employees may use flexible breaks to exercise during work hours.

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All 22 school districts in Hamilton County, Ohio are now providing healthier foods and beverages in school vending machines, à la carte lines, and school stores. The districts’ nutrition standards are aligned with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Guidelines, that call for more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and healthy options. The changes benefit approximately 99,000 students at 180 schools.

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The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, now provides healthier beverage options in vending machines, including zero-calorie drinks and 100% juice. In addition, portion sizes have been reduced from 16 to 12 ounces. The changes benefit nearly 27,000 employees and visitors.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s 1.5 million residents can expect greater access to healthy food and safe physical activity opportunities. Farmers’ markets may now be located in mixed-use developments and higher density mixed-income housing to be planned near public transit nodes, and fewer new driveways will obstruct sidewalks so that pedestrians are protected from motorists.

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An estimated 118,000 residents of low-income neighborhoods in Nashville, Tennessee, now have access to healthy food options, including fresh produce, at five corner stores. Previously, these neighborhoods were food deserts where the availability of healthy food was limited.

In Nashville, Tennessee, the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) is supporting wellness for the department’s 500 employees. At least 35% of vending machine options in MPHD facilities are now healthy. In addition, MPHD provides incentives to employees to use active or alternative transportation, and allows physical activity breaks during meetings that last 90 minutes or longer. Water also is available at all MPHD worksites, activities, and events.

The 79,000 students of the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System (MNPS) in Nashville, Tennessee, now have daily access to healthy food and beverage options for school meals and snacks. Nutritional standards are aligned with the Federal Competitive Foods Policy and the State of Tennessee Minimum Nutritional Standards. Only healthy beverages, such as 1% fat or skim milk or 100% fruit and vegetable juices, are available for purchase. In addition, drinking water is available free of charge to all students where lunch and afterschool snacks are served.

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In San Antonio, Texas, fresh fruit and vegetables are now available at 5 corner stores in the city’s Westside, where the availability of healthy foods is limited. Produce coolers have been placed in visible and easily accessible locations in the stores to encourage the selection of healthy food options. An estimated 20,000 Westside residents are benefiting from the increased access to healthy food.

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In King County, Washington, a farm-to-table project is increasing access to healthy food for at least 170 residents of the Muckleshoot Senior Center. Locally grown produce is now incorporated daily into meals served to the seniors, who are members of the Muckleshoot Tribe.

In King County, Washington, approximately 600 children at 50 family home- and center-based child care programs are now benefitting from fruits and vegetables provided by local farmers through a farm-to-table program. The programs’ staff received training on how to prepare healthy child-friendly meals and snacks.

Six Seattle, Washington churches have partnered through “Moving Together in Faith and Health” to improve access to healthy food and physical activity for 2,000 families who are their parishioners. The churches now serve more nutritious food, including locally grown fruit and vegetables. Less healthy beverage options have been replaced with water, tea, and lower-calorie drinks. In addition, programs for children and youth now have a greater focus on physical activity.

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West Virginia

In rural Mid-Ohio Valley, West Virginia, convenience stores now have incentives to offer healthier choices, including fresh fruits and vegetables. For each type of fresh fruit or vegetable offered, stores receive at least a 20% reduction in the cost of the Retail Food Permit. As a result, more than 140,000 residents living in the region now have greater access to fruit and vegetables at their local convenience stores.

In Mid-Ohio Valley, West Virginia, employees, patients, and visitors to Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital who are breastfeeding their children can now access two onsite lactation stations. Employees may use their break times for milk expression and can obtain electronic breast pumps, if needed. The changes benefit more than 2,100 employees, as well as patients and visitors.

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  • Page last reviewed: October 25, 2013
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