How To Make Healthy Changes
Here are some easy steps you can take to advocate for fruits, vegetables, and physical activity in your neighborhood. We suggest you download the free materials provided on the right. These will help you get started in making healthy changes in your community.
Step 1 - Bring together a group.
Bring together a group of 5 to 10 people who are interested in advocating for fruits, vegetables, and physical activity in your community. Be sure to include friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers.
Step 2 - Determine what you want.
Determine what you want to advocate for in your community. Choose one thing that could increase fruit and vegetable consumption and one thing that could increase physical activity.
Examples of things you can advocate for in your community:
- Ask your local grocery store to sell quality fruits and vegetables at a low price.
- Ask for a local farmers' market in your community.
- Ask about starting a community garden in your neighborhood.
- Work with local schools to get after-hours and weekend access to play yards, gyms, and/or parks.
- Ask the Department of Transportation to add bicycle lanes in your community.
- Partner with the Department of Parks and Recreation to clean up the walking paths in your local parks.
Step 3 - Create a problem statement.
Work with your group to make a clear and concise problem statement for your fruit, vegetable, and physical activity issues.
Examples of problem statements:
- The grocery store(s) in our neighborhood do not sell quality fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.
- There is no farmers' market (or community garden) in our neighborhood.
- Our neighborhood does not have bicycle lanes, which makes it unsafe for us to ride our bikes.
- Walking paths in our local park are unsafe and difficult to walk on.
Step 4 - List the steps it will take to solve problems.
Work with your group to list the steps that will be taken to solve the fruit, vegetable, and physical activity problems in your community. Once the group has finished the steps, make sure all group members agree with the solutions.
Step 5 - Involve other people who can help.
Bring other people into your group who can help solve the problems and help advocate for your solutions. You may want to get help from community leaders, local business owners, and local government agencies.
Step 6 - Let decision-makers know about the problems.
Let the right decision-makers know about the fruit, vegetable, and physical activity problems that you would like to solve. Be sure to clearly state your problems and the steps needed to solve them.
Step 7 - Continue to discuss and advocate.
Continue to discuss and advocate for better access to fruits, vegetables, and physical activity until good outcomes are reached.