Healthy eating is being addressed across the lifespan. We are also working to improve nutrition for adults through our Champions Initiative, as well as the development of a regional food system.
By the end of 2015, both of our birthing hospitals will be designated as Baby-Friendly to increase initiation, exclusivity, and duration for breastfeeding.
Our work in the childcare setting was spearheaded by Community Coordinated Child Care, or 4C of Southern Indiana, and focused on implementing improved nutrition standards, physical activity, screen time, and breastfeeding policies and practices.
Children in 56 schools are benefiting from increased focus on nutrition. Wellness Coordinators in schools work to make changes to their school’s wellness policy to address topics from fundraising to vending. Additionally, Warrick County schools have implemented a farm-to-school program, getting locally-grown, fresh produce into school kitchens. Along those lines, Chef Cyndie Story conducted a workshop to assist school food service staff with the development of nutritious new recipes, along with techniques to make their jobs a little easier.
In 2012, we identified the need to continue our efforts to engage our partners through their worksites. The Champions initiative provides a strategic guide to help businesses/congregations create healthy environment. Champions are able to choose their level of involvement from “Good, Better, and Best” options adapted from the Indiana State Department of Health Indiana Healthy Worksites Toolkit.
We are building from a report that was contracted by the ISDH Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity called “Hoosier Farmer? Emergent Food Systems in Indiana.” The report was developed by Ken Meter, a Food Systems Analyst, who is an expert in the development of food systems. We have tapped into Mr. Meter’s expertise and guidance to create a regional version of the food system report for southwest Indiana.
In addition, we worked with Nicholas Mink, PHD and Helen Schnoes, MRP, to create a Community Food Assessment for Vanderburgh County. This document provides an assessment of the local food system and makes recommendations for long-term improvements.