Prevention Institute developed this document based on key informant interviews and a scan of policy and research reports. It is part of a larger effort to identify high-impact approaches that will move us closer to our vision of healthy people in healthy places. Our partnership has released Promising Strategies for Creating Healthy Eating and Active Living Environments and Strategies for Enhancing the Built Environment to Support Healthy Eating and Active Living. We plan to publish a policy brief about strategies to promote physical activity among children and youth to create a lifetime of good health.
The ability to provide everyone in America with access to healthy goods has major implications for preventing chronic disease, for improving community health through economic development and neighborhood revitalization, and for protecting our environment and natural resources. Healthy food access is part of a larger food system of agricultural production, processing, transportation, marketing and retail sales.
Yet numerous systemic challenges create barriers to access, particularly for low-income people and people of color. On the other hand, these challenges offer many leverage points for advocacy and activism. The issues addressed in this paper span multiple sectors, disciplines, and advocacy agendas: environmental justice, anti-hunger, public health, agriculture, equity and economic development. There are tremendous opportunities for people committed to all these areas to forge effective alliances to press for healthy food policies at the local, state and federal levels.
Ultimately, it is the convergence of efforts, interests and partnerships that will create and sustain the momentum necessary to achieve the larger vision of community health.
The Convergence Partnership is a collaborative of funders whose goal of policy and environmental change will help reinvent communities of healthy people living in healthy places. The steering committee includes representatives from The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Kresge Foundation, Nemours, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serve as critical technical advisors on the committee. PolicyLink, a national research and action institute devoted to advancing economic and social equity, serves as program directors for the partnership. Prevention Institute, a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving community health and equity through effective primary prevention, provides policy research and analysis along with strategic support.