The Food & Fitness Community Partnerships: Results From 9 Years of Local Systems and Policy Changes to Increase Equitable Opportunities for Health

Laurie Lachance, Martha Quinn, Theresa Kowalski-Dobson
Health Promotion Practice 2018, 19 (1_suppl): 92S-114S
The Food & Fitness (F&F) community partnerships, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation from 2007 to 2016, were established to create community-determined change in the conditions that affect health and health equity in neighborhoods. The focus of the work has been to increase access to locally grown good food (food that is healthy, sustainable, fair, and affordable), and safe places for physical activity for children and families in communities with inequities across the United States through changes in policies, community infrastructure, and systems at the local level. This article describes the outcomes related to systems and policy change over 9 years of community change efforts in the F&F partnerships. Characteristics of the F&F communities where the work took place; the change model that emerged from the work; efforts and changes achieved related to community food, school food, and active living/built environment; overall factors in the community that helped or hindered the work of the partnerships; and a depiction of the community-determined process for change employed by the partnerships are described. Local systems and policy change is a long-term process. Community-determined efforts that build capacity for systems change, commitment to long-term funding, and provision of technical assistance tailored to community needs were elements that contributed to success in the F&F work. Achieving intermediate outcomes on the road to policy and systems change created a way to monitor success and make midcourse corrections when needed.

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