History of the Eat Play Breathe York Initiative
In February 2010, The YMCA of York and York County was selected to participate in the ACHIEVE Initiative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the YMCA of the USA. ACHIEVE, Action Communities for Health, Innovation and EnVironmental ChangE, focuses on improving the health of community members through policy, system and environmental changes. The York YMCA invited key partners to join the effort to improve health within York City and hence a new initiative was created.
Eat Play Breathe York developed a comprehensive Community Action Plan based on data collected in a 2010 assessment. Repeat assessments have been completed in 2011 and 2012 to reinforce the actions steps, goals and objectives. Eat Play Breathe York has partnered with the Healthy York County Coalition's Food Availability Task Force (FATF) to improve nutrition for those who live and work in the city by developing a garden network (York Urban Garden Association). FATF has also created a distribution network for city and county gardeners to donate excess produce to local food pantries who in turn provide fresh produce to the economically challenged families within the city. A new Transportation Task Force was created to develop policies, systems and environmental changes that improve walkability and bikeability. The Transportation Task Force (TTF) also develops events for public awareness and education, such as Bike In York Week, held annually in May.
The Eat Play Breathe York initiative has made strides with regards to nutrition and physical activity goals through the work of the FATF and TTF. Work will continue in these areas and will expand to focus on Workplace Wellness policies that include an increase in physical activity opportunities, improved nutritional options and decreased use of tobacco products inside and on workplace campuses.
In February, 2013, the YMCA of York was once again awarded a grant to further the work of the Eat Play Breathe York Initiative. York was chosen to participante in the CDC's REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) initiative, receiving $225,000 in implementation funds, new resources and mentors to help ease the implementation of community changes for health. Through the REACH initiative, new community partners will be joining the Eat Play Breathe York task force for expanded outreach within the city.
Eat Play Breathe York successes 2010-2013