Tools For Communities

Create a Healthier Start on Life

·Breastfeeding peer support groups help mothers get helpful breastfeeding instruction and tips. The groups are led by breastfeeding experts, experienced moms, or grandmothers.

·Communities Can Remove Barriers to Breastfeeding: Local and Tribal governments can enact and enforce laws that protect breastfeeding in public and require workplaces to support breastfeeding mothers who return to work, such as the Navajo Nation Healthy Start Act of 2008.
Mother Holding Child 

Create Healthier Learning Communities

·Child and Adult Care Food Program: Each day, 3.2 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The program also provides meals and snacks to more than 115,000 adults who receive care in nonresidential adult day care centers.

·Summer Food Service Program: Children that rely on free and reduced-price school meals during the school year, often go without nutritious food during the summer.You can help fill this nutrition gap by operating a Summer Food Service Program.Schools may also apply to operate the Seamless Summer Option through the National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast Programs (SBP).
 Kids playing volleyball

Increase Opportunities for Physical Activity

·The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) is part of the President's Challenge Program, an initiative dedicated to getting people fit and active. Through PALA, young people and adults record their physical activity each day, with the goal of being active 60 minutes a day (or 30 minutes a day for adults), at least 5 days a week.

·Safe Routes to School: This program enables communities to improve safety and encourage more children to safely walk and bicycle to school. You can work with your state to access various Department of Transportation funds that encourage safe a physically active ways for students to get to schools.

·Carol M. White Physical Education Program: This program can be used to provide equipment and support to enable students to participate actively in physical education activities.

·Indian Community Development Block Grants: These grants may be issued by Tribal governments for the purposes of, among other things, building community facilities such as a recreation complex or public gymnasium.

·GoGirlGo!: This curriculum from the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) combines physical activity with education to focus on reducing and preventing health-risk behaviors.

·21st Century Learning Communities: This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.
Craig at the playground

Increase Access to Healthy, Affordable, and Traditional Foods

·Support Existing and Beginning Farmers: Healthy food does not make itself, but is produced by local farmers and ranchers. Many native communities support tribally owned agricultural enterprises or tribal producers because their success is ultimately valuable for the entire community. The United States Department of Agriculture has programs to help your community by providing assistance to these agriculture producers.

·Start a Farmer's Market:Coordinate local producers and utilize USDA programs to start a market. The Farmer's Market Promotion Program can assist in this development which can include the ability to accept SNAP benefits.

·School /Community Garden Development:School gardens are places that provide the chance for physical activity and educational opportunities. Many Tribal organizations also connect this activity with the teaching of traditional cultural knowledge around food and agriculture. For garden advice from the USDA's People's Garden, please visit the People's Garden.

·Organize a Food Pantry: Partner with your local food bank to host a food pantry at your organization or congregation with healthy options. Visit Feeding America to find the food bank closest to you.

Food Policy Council's (FPC's) convene elected officials and various stakeholders for the purpose of providing a comprehensive examination of a local food system. A FPC can help to broaden a local level discussion to issues beyond agricultural production into a more comprehensive review of why food is in the community and if that food reflects the goals of the local people.
Family slicing fruit