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Eight organizations, including the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFI) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), were awarded the Pioneering Innovation Award at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Weight of the Nation Conference in Washington, D.C. The organizations were recognized for their work in advancing policies and environmental strategies to combat obesity.
The other organizations honored at the conference were the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Baptist Health South Florida, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Kaiser Permanente, the Navajo Nation and Nemours Health and Prevention Services (NHPS). All of the awardees worked successfully to influence environmental, economic, social and cultural shifts toward obesity prevention and control, according to Atlanta-based CDC.
“There is much focus on what individuals can do to improve their health, and while that is important, we must remember that our nation’s health is also strongly affected by population-level changes that result from the collective efforts of all sectors of society,” said Dr. William H. Dietz, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, who lauded the “the impressive group of award recipients” for spearheading “programs and policies that are sustainable, cost-efficient and results-oriented.”
Applications were sent in by peers or the organizations themselves following a call for nominations for the Pioneering Innovation Award. Over 35 applications were received. The conference planning committee, consisting of numerous public health organizations, judged the applications and chose the winners based on merit.
The FFFI, a project of The Food Trust, The Reinvestment Fund, the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, is an innovative public-private partnership that increases the number of supermarkets and grocery stores in underserved communities across Pennasylvania, directly benefiting low- and moderate-income communities. The initiative helps new supermarkets get started and existing ones to renovate and replace old capital to boost efficiency and reduce costs.
PBH is a consumer education foundation with the aim of motivating people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health. The foundation is responsible for a variety of marketing and nutrition education programs in support of the Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters program, which seeks to advance nutrition policy efforts and industry and government collaboration.