Creating vibrant communities where the healthy choice is the easy choice
The Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative has brought people in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties together to make our region a place where every day, all people have access to healthy, locally grown foods and abundant opportunities for physical activity in the places where we live, learn, work and play.
Diverse groups have joined together to create a common vision. Regional learning communities, involving schools, youth, active living and community health, nurture quality relationships and policy change successes.
Youth engagement is key to our success. Eighteen high school-based Food & Fitness Teams actively work with their administrators, food service, wellness committees, and teachers to improve their school's food and fitness environment and policies.
Our strategies are to ensure that 1) School district policies & practices support healthy living of children, families and community members. 2) Local, health-promoting food is available and affordable in all communities, neighborhoods and institutions. 3) Communities have a built environment that supports abundant opportunities for physical activity and play.
Our targets are to create procurement policies allowing for geographical preference of local foods in schools, to invest in new and existing producers who produce food for local food systems, to promote development of storage/processing capabilities for local food; and to develop and maintain infrastructure for walking and bicycling to and from schools in communities. Current efforts include piloting "Farm to School" and "Safe Routes to School" programs in each county. The Food & Fitness Initiative also supports the ongoing work of the NE Iowa Food & Farm Coalition.
This initiative is one of nine projects nationwide supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Community Program working to transform our food and fitness systems through policy and system change projects.
Our Work Group Leaders & Staff
What We've Learned (Data & Assessments)
Community Action Plan: Year 4-7
Year 4 Impacts (2012-13)
Year 5 Impacts (2013-14)
Year 6 Annual Report Page 1 Page 2
Read our story in an article by the Prevention Institute, 2009.