Since 2008, the University of Missouri Extension Healthy Lifestyle Initiative (HLI) has helped communities develop and implement action plans focused on increasing the availability of healthy, affordable, locally produced food and safe, accessible physical activity. Each community engaged a broad spectrum of community members and stakeholders to develop and carry out plans that focus on policy and environmental changes to support healthy lifestyles within their community.
In 2010 nine additional communities were selected (including Fit Helps in Phelps County). As they form and strengthen partnerships to develop action plans over the next 12-18 months, the lessons learned from the four initial communities will serve as a guide. Broad representation from all parts of the community, including public health agencies, economic development and planning commissions, schools, churches, local food and farm groups, the business community, local government, youth, and the community at-large, will ensure that the resources, needs, and desires of the community are fully identified and incorporated into the action plans. The community planning process will help foster community spirit and ownership that will position the community to examine and change policies and environments.
For more information on the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative, click here.