Communities During the 2017-2018 year, the Community Sector continued to engage the original three pilot site counties of Baldwin (Milledgeville), Washington (Sandersville) and Chatham (Savannah) and expanded work in five additional low resourced communities: Bibb, Burke, Clayton, Glascock and Hancock. The goal of the expansion was to extend the focus of improving healthy eating and physical activity behaviors into the neighborhoods of the children and families served by the childcare center and school programs. This initiative reached a SNAP eligible adult population of 75,807 in 36 food retail settings. The goals of the Community Initiative are to (1) increase access to fruits and vegetables at local food outlets, (2) establish common social marketing messages that resonate with residents to influence behavior changes in the community and (3) ultimately increase the purchasing and consumption of fruits and vegetables. HealthMPowers is drawing upon the long history and accomplishments of the Public Health Institute (PHI) Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN) with eligible communities, grocery stores, food outlets and farmers’ markets. After conducting adult nutrition/physical activity education the following was reported: 97% felt somewhat to very confident in choosing healthy food/drinks for their family 87% planned to purchase more fruits and 86% planned to purchase more vegetables than they typically do 97% felt somewhat to very confident in choosing healthier snacks for their family 95% felt somewhat to very confident using the “Nutrition Facts” on food/drink labels to make healthy choices 95% felt somewhat to very confident in limiting the amount of sugary beverages they purchase 98% felt somewhat to very confident in being more physically active each day After participating in fruit/vegetable taste testing, 93% of fruit and vegetable taste testing participants indicated they planned to purchase the fruit/vegetable. Our work together will help children and their families make healthier choices. For additional information contact Heather Rice 770.817.1733 We encourage you to click on the community pages to read more about their respective successes. *Baldwin County *Bibb County *Burke County *Clayton County *Glascock County *Hancock County *Savannah/Chatham County *Washington County Did you know? Small food stores are more prevalent in low-income communities. Food insecure populations are commonly challenged with more health, economic and educational risk factors. Increasing the amount of shelf space dedicated to healthy foods can positively impact consumption. Increased knowledge about healthy eating is associated with increased sales of fruits and vegetables. This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.