NEIA Food & Fitness Initiative honored as public health leader

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) recognized leaders in nutrition and physical activity at a ceremony held April 11 at the 2017 Iowa Governor’s Conference on Public Health in Des Moines. Among those honored organizations was the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative.

The honorees emulate the IDPH Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion vision of “an Iowa where healthy living is accessible, valued and supported by all.” The winners must strive to make the bureau’s mission a reality by “ensuring that Iowans have the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle by providing education and resources, building partnerships and supporting communities.”

The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative is a collaborative partnership comprised of partners from Luther College, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Northeast Iowa Community College, Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission and school districts across the six-county region of Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties. The Initiative has been using a collective impact model over the last nine years to address childhood obesity by working to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

The work of the Initiative has included extensive safe routes to school work, walking school buses, early childhood programming, farm to school, as well as healthy cooking and leadership skills for 4-H program youth. The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative aligns with the Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion’s mission and vision by demonstrating the importance of building partnerships within the community and working to change the environment. This makes it easy to incorporate healthy eating and active living into the lives of the residents of Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties.

For more information about the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, visit www.iowafoodandfitness.org. For more information about the IDPH Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion, its programs and grants, visit http://idph.iowa.gov/NutritionHealthPromotion.
 

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