Featured Programs & Activities
Promoting Access to Healthy Foods in Rainier Valley

GRuB ParticipantThe Healthy and Active Rainier Valley Coalition is a partnership aimed at building and strengthening the Rainier Valley by increasing the health of its residents through culturally relevant promotion of
physical activity and nutrition. Several of the coalition's programs aimed to improve access to nutritious foods and increase awareness of healthy options in the community.

Healthy Restaurant Initiative

The Healthy Restaurant Initiative worked with sixteen restaurants in southeast Seattle to provide healthy menu options. Nutritionists analyzed the menus and helped each restaurant to identify at least one healthy option that met the following guidelines:

  • Less than 850 calories
  • More than eight grams of fiber
  • Less than 1,000 mg of sodium
  • Less than 25% of calories from fat
  • At least two servings of fruits and veggies.

Table tents publicized the restaurants' participation in the initiative and encouraged patrons to "Ask for the Healthy Choice". Participating restaurants were publicized in a brochure (pdf) that was made available at each restaurant and other community locations. The brochure also encouraged biking to the restaurants by including a map of restaurant locations and bike friendly routes.

Shop Arounds

More than 200 community members have participated in shop arounds - tours of local grocery stores led by peer educators trained in basic nutrition and label reading. Offered in English, Vietnamese and Cambodian, these interactive tours showed participants how to identify nutritious options and compare similar products for nutrition and cost.
Shop Around Brochure (pdf)

Community Kitchen

A community kitchen group established at Rainier Community Center allows people to gather monthly to prepare meals. Everyone participates in the preparation and takes healthy and easy to prepare meals home. Participants learn new recipes and cooking techniques and can save time and money. Community Kitchen Brochure (pdf)

Partners

The Healthy and Active Rainier Valley Coalition includes 73 agencies, community-based organizations, individuals, clinics and businesses. STEPS to Health King County and the Health Promotion Research Center convened the coalition. Funding was provided by the Steps to a HealthierUS Cooperative Agreement Program coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Successes & Lessons Learned

  • The Healthy and Active Rainier Valley Coalition is seen as the "go to" group on local health issues. Partnering around shared goals promotes delivery of consistent health messages and better integration of services.
  • Although the coalition's successes demonstrate that a lot can be done with a little money, a paid facilitator is critical in keeping members engaged and projects moving forward.
  • It is important to listen to all levels of the community from citizens to businesses and to keep engaging people with interesting and relevant programs.
  • Take pictures and market programs.

Target Audience

Community residents

Region

Rainier Valley, Seattle

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