Building Healthy Communities

Project Title

Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, Phase 2

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Building Healthy Communities

Date Awarded

July 14, 2017


Western NY



Good health outcomes are more prevalent in neighborhoods where people have easy access to nutritious, affordable food; safe and walkable streets; and active playgrounds and public spaces.

Living in neighborhoods without these essentials, residents are more likely to be burdened with high rates of obesity, diabetes, or other chronic illnesses. In 2015, NYHealth launched its Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, an initiative to help six communities across New York State become healthier and more active places. This 2-year, $2 million investment has leveraged an additional $181 million in funding for these six communities, helping nearly half a million New Yorkers have greater access to healthy, affordable food and safe ways in which to be physically active. NYHealth is continuing its commitment to the initiative by investing an additional $2.5 million over the next three years in these six communities. In 2017, NYHealth awarded Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative a grant to continue its participation in the initiative.

Under the second phase of the initiative, Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative built upon its efforts to support the health and wellness of residents by improving the local food and built environments. Specifically, the Collaborative continued the development of its Resident Engagement Council to empower residents in leading and advocating for health improvement initiatives. It also embarked on a time-banking project to encourage neighbors, organizations, and groups to work together on local community projects. The Collaborative designed and implemented a local food action plan for the City of Niagara Falls. To design the plan, the Collaborative collected data on best practices in designing community food plans, and sought input from the community to address the needs of all residents and account for the challenges and issues faced by specific neighborhoods. The local food action plan made recommendations to improve the health of the community as a whole, with a focus on increasing access to healthy, affordable foods and for physical activity in public spaces throughout Niagara Falls.