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Letter of Intent (to Kellogg) 8-16-06

Letter of Intent (to Kellogg) 8-16-06



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Published by: andersmag on Aug 12, 2008
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Seattle and King County – Letter of IntentW.K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Fitness Initiative
The Pacific Northwest is known for its livable communities, active lifestyles, rich agriculture andtechnological innovation. Nevertheless, overweight and obesity prevalence are increasing, asthey are in the rest of the nation. King County, which encompasses both large urban centers suchas Seattle and Bellevue and small rural towns, is home to a number of initiatives that aim tomake it easier to eat well and live actively. Efforts are underway to shape our local food systemto support sustainable agriculture and provide fresh food to King County residents, especiallythose in underserved communities. Last year, the King County Board of Health adopted a 10- point plan with specific goals for promoting nutrition, increasing physical activity and improvingthe built environment and land use to reduce overweight and obesity prevalence in our  population. With this foundation, we are poised to integrate these activities horizontally across program areas and vertically across socio-ecologic levels. Efforts are also underway to eliminatehealth disparities among racial, ethnic and low socioeconomic populations.Participating in the Planning Phase of the Food and Fitness Initiative would allow coordinationof these broad-based community efforts into an integrated system. The creation of acomprehensive community plan would leverage resources, facilitate partnerships andsignificantly expand our community’s capacity for change.Our primary goals for this Initiative are to:1)Help build social environments that encourage healthy eating and physical activity.2)Develop an integrated regional food system that supports local, sustainable agriculture.3)Support built environments and land use that promote physical activity and environmentalsustainability.4)Provide healthy, affordable, locally-produced foods, especially to marginalized communities.5)Reduce socioeconomic disparities in overweight, poor nutrition and physical inactivity.6)Engage youth and those most impacted by health disparities in program planning,intervention, implementation and policy development.7)Activate a participatory, community-based process that supports a systems approach torealize the above goals.As a result of our initial planning in response to your invitation, we identified several areas thatneed attention to reach these goals. Communication and coordination among existingstakeholders needs improvement and new stakeholders (i.e. representatives of the food industry)need to be included. More efforts are needed to assure open space protection; educate electedofficials about the connections between local food and public health; increase access to healthyfood and physical activity; develop innovative policies; decrease costs of local, sustainably produced food; decrease overweight and health disparities; and assure that regional planning processes include a focus on food systems and agricultural policy.Participants in developing this letter recognize that food systems activists, physical activity proponents and community health promotion advocates have largely operated in separate arenas.They see integrating efforts and making connections between food, activity and community
health as mutually beneficial and the next logical step for expanding the effectiveness of their efforts.
Our Community and the Target Area of Focus
The Seattle-King County region covers 2000 square miles with approximately 43,000 acres of farmland (approximately 3% of the total area). Farmed acreage declined by 20% between 1997and 2002, with a corresponding decline in number and size of farms. Positively, the number of farms certified as organic tripled from 7% to 23% between 1995 and 2004 and the number of local farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture programs increased. Sales at countyfarmers’ markets totaled approximately $10,000,000 in 2005.King County is home to 1.8 million residents. African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders and persons of Hispanic/Latino ancestry account for 5.7%, 10.7% and 3.8% of the population,respectively. Our county is home to increasing numbers of immigrants from Mexico, CentralAmerica, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Our ethnic diversity is also reflected in the more than100 languages spoken by families in the Seattle School District.Despite a generally healthy economy, economic disparities present a major challenge. Nearly aquarter of the population lives in households with incomes below 200% of the federal povertylevel. Food insecurity affects 10% of households. Disparities in health are also a significantconcern. While half of our residents are overweight or obese, low-income people are 1.3 timesmore likely to be obese than wealthier residents, African Americans are 1.6 times more likely to be obese than whites and residents of suburban south King County are 1.6 times more likely to be obese than residents of urban Seattle. Disparities in physical activity are even more pronounced. Overall, 44% of residents do not meet national activity recommendations. Latinosreport having no physical activity at a rate 1.9 times higher than whites, low income people at arate 2.9 times higher than high income people and residents of suburban south King County at arate 4 times higher than residents of urban Seattle.We will define two levels of community for the purposes of this proposal. Because food systems by definition include rural areas for food production, we will include the Puget Sound region inour food systems work. This area provides year round agriculture and serves approximately 28farmers’ markets in the County. Because interventions to promote healthy eating and activeliving are more effective when concentrated within smaller communities, we will select severalcommunities most affected by disparities. Our planning process will select the specificcommunities based on health and social indicators, food access, availability of supportiveenvironments for physical activity and community readiness for change. Data from public healthand regional planning efforts will help inform this selection. We will likely focus on those withhigh proportions of low-income residents and people of color in south Seattle and 6 adjacentsuburban cities. These communities are already beginning to address physical inactivity and poor nutrition through the REACH and Steps to Health programs (see below).
Our History of Collaboration and Resulting Accomplishments
Seattle and King County have an extensive history of cross-sectoral collaborations, community building and participatory planning. Several successful coalitions are active in the food andfitness arena and are ready to participate in this Initiative. The shaded examples listed in the table below are mature partnerships with a transparent structure defined through formal operational
 procedures, established communications systems and local (as well as national) recognition.These coalitions have emphasized capacity development of their members and integration of member activities. Below these are a few examples of the many partnerships formed for specificcollaborative projects. All of these partnerships have established valuable cross-sector and cross-institution relationships and the trust and good will for moving ahead together.
NameFounded# PartnersActivities & Accomplishments
REACH 2010199968
assessed current status of diabetes prevention andcontrol efforts among minority communities.
implemented diabetes education and chronic diseaseself-management classes, faith-based education, cliniccase coordination and community business activities.
 programs improved physical activity and nutrition behaviors and disease management self-efficacy.Steps to Health200375
implemented evidence-based strategies that promotethe reduction of asthma, diabetes and obesity.
supported implementation of new wellness policies inschools through menu changes, increased breakfast participation, walk-to-school activities and a revised physical education curricula.OverweightPreventionInitiative200475
developed evidence-based 10-Point Plan that wasadopted as by the King County Board of Health.
convenes organizations in King County to plan andimplement innovative programs and policies to promote healthy eating, physical activity and healthier  built environments.Acting FoodPolicy Council for Seattle and KingCounty200615
convenes stakeholders to holistically address foodsystems issues.
develops strategy, relationships and infrastructure for an officially recognized council for Seattle/KingCounty.Physical ActivityCoalition200230
 presents annual awards to PE teachers who excel.
 provides communication, collaboration and networkingfor organizations working to increase physical activity.Injury FreeCoalition for Kidsof Seattle20043
conducts walking school bus programs in concert withschool breakfast programs for school children.Healthy AgingPartnership199540
 provides education, awareness, training and advocacyfor older adult health on a variety of wellness topics.Farm-to-SchoolConnectionsTeam200462
included local food sourcing language in Seattle schoolnutrition policy.

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