Building Healthy Communities

Project Title

Expanding the Role of Schools and Employers in Providing Nutritionally Valuable Foods and Beverages

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Building Healthy Communities

Date Awarded

September 25, 2014


North Country




To help foster statewide implementation of prevention activities, the New York State Department of Health issued the Prevention Agenda 2013–17 to address disease prevention and reduce health disparities.

All 58 local health departments were required to submit a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) to the State outlining their strategies to advance the Prevention Agenda. To help energize the implementation of these CHIPs, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded grants to health departments with the most innovative and feasible projects to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities through the Advancing New York State’s Prevention Agenda: A Matching Funds Program to Implement Community Health Improvement Plans initiative. The Prevention Agenda offered NYHealth a timely opportunity to build upon its work in diabetes prevention by helping support initiatives that tackle the root causes of diabetes and other chronic conditions, such as obesity and smoking. NYHealth awarded Essex County Public Health (ECPH) a grant to participate in this initiative.

ECPH used funds to focus on the Prevention Agenda priority area of preventing chronic disease. It worked to create school environments that promoted and supported healthy food and beverage choices. ECPH provided education, technical assistance, and environmental supports to schools for the adoption of policies and practices that supported healthy nutrition, including programs such as Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and My Plate; specific topics such as cafeteria culture and school gardening; and school wellness policy and community communication. ECPH also helped expand the role of employers in obesity prevention by increasing the number employers that have knowledge and adoption of policies, practices, and environments that create healthy food and beverage choices at worksites.

See a full list of recipients.