Making The Case For Stakeholders
Scientific evidence can help collaborations or coalitions make the case about the need for and efficacy of strategies to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease in their communities, especially for those strategies whose health outcomes are not often immediate.
Our Healthier Communities Initiatives are built on the concept that local communities can work together to give all community members healthy choices and support the pursuit of healthy lifestyles. More than 160 Ys are working in collaboration with community leaders to make changes in policies and the physical surroundings in those communities so that healthy living is within reach for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
Government-sponsored nutrition programs have a wide reach to low-income populations. Studies have found that strategies focusing on program enhancements increased participation in government-sponsored programs.
Government-sponsored nutrition programs—such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP); and Summer Food Service Program—have a wide reach to low-income populations, enhancing nutrition education and access to healthy food. Studies have found that strategies focusing on program enhancements such as simplifying the application process, improving outreach and nutrition education, providing coupons for use at farmers’ markets, and making Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machines more widely available increased participation in government-sponsored programs. For example, significantly more children participated in the Summer Nutrition Program in states where the reporting process was streamlined. In addition, policies that reduced reporting requirements increased eligibility for, and participation in, government-sponsored nutrition programs. One could expect subsequent increases in healthy food consumption that would result in improved health in the long term.
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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.