Between Fall 2011 and Spring 2012, we surveyed and interviewed residents and community leaders within schools, churches, businesses, village government, and neighborhood organizations. Many positive influences such as the location of the Prairie Path and Great Western Trail were noted. Key findings for removing barriers to making the healthy choice the easy choice included:
Vending and concessions rarely or never have predominantly healthy options,
Limited availability of community gardens and farmers markets,
A lack of written guidelines or policies concerning positive staff modeling of healthy eating in workplaces, schools and after school sites.
Based upon these findings, the following goals were established.
Increase access to healthy foods and beverages throughout the community to provide people with the ability to achieve a healthy weight and good health;
Increase policy adoptions by workplaces, schools, churches, child care sites, recreation centers, neighborhood associations, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. that emphasize healthy options. Policies that make options predominantly healthy will make choosing the healthy option easier for those wanting to change their habits.
Policies that encourage modeling by key leaders (teachers, counselors, coaches, business administrators, pastors & youth ministers, government & civic organization leaders) of the enjoyment of healthy foods and beverages will motivate others (youth, staff, community members, etc.) to consume the healthy foods and beverages which will lead to a healthy weight and good health.
Through promotion and celebration of success stories, best practices and strategies will be shared, and other community members will be inspired to initiate positive changes in their environments.
Greater Works Church of God
Angela Johnson Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran