Tulane-partners-with-The-Food-Trust-in-launching-Center-for-Healthy-Food-Access-

Tulane partners with The Food Trust in launching Center for Healthy Food Access

Food helps bring people together. But accessing healthy food is a challenge, particularly for people living in underserved neighborhoods.

While improvements have been made across the country to bring healthier food to more people in more places, a new coordinated national effort – which includes New Orleans and Tulane University – is seeking to build upon the work of organizations, institutions and businesses by sharing lessons learned, sparking inspiration and testing groundbreaking ideas.

Diego Rose, PhD, MPH, professor and head of the Nutrition Section at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Brittany Kovacs, LMSW, MPH, the Section’s nutrition program manager, and Keelia O'Malley, MPH, assistant director at the Tulane Prevention Research Center, are partnering with the national nonprofit The Food Trust to improve access to nutritional food and beverages.

In addition to Tulane, a diverse group of partners from across the country are working on a national collaborative effort, led by The Food Trust’s new Center for Healthy Food Access, to help organizations and businesses increase access to and demand for healthy, affordable foods and beverages. As the New Orleans convening center for the Center for Healthy Food Access, Tulane will be bringing together eight local nonprofits to work on a variety of healthy food access projects throughout the city. Agrowtopia, Backyard Gardeners Network, Market Umbrella, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, Sankofa Community Development Corporation, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, SPROUT NOLA, and Top Box Foods will all be working on projects through the center and will be meeting together throughout the year to foster synergies among their efforts.

“We're excited to join The Food Trust in this innovative endeavor to promote new approaches and tackle common challenges together so we can improve access to healthy foods and beverages,” Rose said.

The new center focuses on a number of efforts to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food, including:
-Strengthening federal nutrition programs including SNAP, WIC and SNAP-Ed.
-Improving the food and water quality in schools.
-Creating jobs and economic development by bringing grocery stores and other healthy food businesses to areas experiencing disinvestment of resources.
-Working with hospitals and healthcare systems to prevent diet-related disease in low-income communities.
-Partnering with businesses to focus marketing efforts on healthier choices.
-Expanding SNAP incentive programs that provide support to make healthier food more affordable for those on food stamps.
-Promoting healthyfoodaccess.org so organizations and businesses can share successes with one another.
-Providing $1 million in grants to more than 15 organizations across the country. For a full list of partners, go to centerforhealthyfoodaccess.org.

To receive more information about the work of the Center, as well as how to get involved through webinars, meetings and other opportunities, visit centerforhealthyfoodaccess.org.
For information about the New Orleans work, a joint effort between the Tulane SPHTM Nutrition Section and the Tulane PRC, contact Brittany Kovacs at bkovacs@tulane.edu.

By Naomi King Englar, Tulane PRC Staff
February 2017

Topics:   diet , nutrition , food environment , food marketing , farmers market , agriculture , community health , policy

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