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Niagara Falls introduces Local Food Action Plan

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Fri, Jan 25th 2019 06:20 pm

Intended to address food access & built environment issues across city

More than 400+ resident voices contributed to design of Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan

Civic leaders and resident stakeholders gathered Thursday at the future home of the African Heritage Food Co-op to introduce the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan. With 400-plus resident voices contributing to the proposed actions, the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan is designed to be a roadmap to improving the overall food environment in the city.

The plan focuses on four key areas: economic development, agriculture, education and healthy neighborhoods.

“Our focus is creating long-term sustainable change for the city and we (the Healthy Food Healthy People workgroup) agreed a more proactive approach was necessary, which resulted in the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan,” stated Tom Lowe, co-chair of the Healthy Food Healthy People workgroup.

According to the 2014 Community Health Needs Assessment for the City of Niagara Falls, residents are more likely than populations in other geographies to face healthy issues related to: chronic disease, mental health, obesity, tobacco use, lackluster pregnancy prevention programs, dental health and preventative health care.

The economic downturn experienced by the Niagara Region has left high levels of unemployment and poverty. Many programs exist to assist Niagara Falls residents, but unmet needs persist. The Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan aims to address these issues and more, turning the City of Niagara Falls into a healthy, thriving community that serves everyone. With the support from the New York State Health Foundation, the Healthy Food Healthy People workgroup of the Creating a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative worked on developing the plan over two years to ensure as many resident voices as possible were captured in the planning process.

“We are proud to support the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan in increasing access to fresh and healthy food,” said Sharrie McIntosh, vice president for programs at the New York State Health Foundation. “We are dedicated to making the healthy choice the easy choice for Niagara Falls residents.”

The Niagara Falls City Council passed a unanimous resolution to adopt the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan for the city on Dec. 12, 2018. This action by civic leaders was an important first step to begin implementing the plan in the months and years ahead.

Download a copy of the plan at www.healthierniagarafalls.org/healthy-food-healthy-people.

The Healthy Food Healthy People Workgroup is a coalition of over 45-plus agencies, businesses, residents and key stakeholders focused on improving the food environment for Niagara Falls. HFHP is a working group of the Creating a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative.

The Creating a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative mission is to serve as a catalyst for fully engaging the community and bringing innovative approaches to creating a healthier Niagara Falls.

The New York State Health Foundation is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. It is committed to making grants, informing health policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve the health care system and the health of New Yorkers, serving as a neutral convener of health leaders across the state, and providing technical assistance to its grantees and partners. Through its Building Healthy Communities priority area, NYSHealth seeks to improve neighborhood health in six communities across New York by expanding access to and demand for nutritious foods, and expanding access to safe places where residents can be more physically active.

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