Featured Programs & Activities
Public Health Activating to Improve Healthy Food Access in King County

The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) unit of Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC) is engaged in a variety of efforts to improve nutrition by increasing access to healthy food and creating food systems-focused policy and systems change. These efforts will be accelerated with funds recently awarded to PHSKC by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) stimulus grants program.

The CPPW grant, will enable PHSKC to provide $6.75 million in grants to school districts, local governments and community organizations to create policies, systems and environments that support healthy eating and active living. Examples of activities include supporting marketing of healthy items at worksites, implementing nutrition standards in children's programs, and developing a farm to school program at the school or district level. $1.1 million of CPPW funds will be dedicated to providing business incentives to increase the amount of healthy food and beverages available through retail outlets in under-served communities in South King County, Southeast Seattle and Southwest Seattle.

These activities will build on PHSKC's ongoing healthy eating and food policy initiatives, coalitions, and partnerships:

  • Healthy and Active Rainier Valley Coalition: Promotes culturally appropriate physical activity and nutrition policies and programs, including the Community Kitchen Project which provides cooking space, equipment and ingredients for community members to come together and cook fresh food to take home to their families.
  • Puget Sound School Gardens Collective: Offers ideas for curriculum, volunteer opportunities and a network to connect with others working on school gardens.
  • Urban Farm Hub: Provides an online forum for Puget Sound community members to learn about, discuss and organize around local food system issues.
  • King County Food and Fitness Initiative Healthy Food Retail Strategy Action Team: Works to improve healthy food options at corner stores in KCFFI target communities (Delridge and White Center) and to develop best practices for expanding the work in other areas of King County. Public health staff have supported the healthy corner store efforts by providing technical assistance to store operators on navigating SNAP and WIC retailer certification, social marketing, and food safety issues related to in-store demonstrations of healthy food preparation.
  • REACH Coalition: Promotes policy and environmental level changes to reduce health disparities. The REACH program manager worked with the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities committee on Obesity and Diabetes to develop policy recommendations aimed at reducing the burden of obesity and diabetes in communities of color in Washington. A community organizer hired by the REACH coalition is leading efforts to identify and address environmental barriers to healthy eating and active living in one of its target communities.
  • Food Policy: HEAL staff have been instrumental in helping to adopt and implement food policy change at the local and state level. One example of this policy change work is the City of Seattle's Local Food Action Initiative. The initiative directs the City to develop a Food Policy Action Plan which will identify policies, programs and opportunities to promote local food system sustainability and security. In addition, staff are working to support the development of a Regional Food Policy Council that can bring the cities and counties in the Puget Sound region together to develop policies that contribute to broad goals to improve food access, economic development, and environmental sustainability. Finally, staff helped to inform the process to create a statewide food policy forum.

Target Audience

Community residents

Region

King County, Seattle