Here are some interesting facts:
There are many factors that contribute to this alarming health issue. It’s not just the food we eat and how much we eat. It’s also what’s in the food we eat, how food is marketed to us, what our kids eat in their schools, what kinds of recreational opportunities exist (or don’t exist) in our neighborhoods, and the availability of and access to healthy foods.
Funders are working in new ways with health care providers, businesses, and nonprofits to support increasing access to healthy food that reduces health risks, creates jobs, and improves the community. This kind of support includes combining traditional grantmaking with impact investment, pooling financial resources (loans, philanthropic funding, and technical assistance) to open markets offering healthy foods in neighborhoods, and looking at innovative ideas like mobile markets.
Obesity and the access to healthy food are interconnected. Grantmakers, businesses, nonprofits, and other partners can work together to commit to learning more about how to address this multifaceted problem.
We can all learn more by watching HBO’s documentary, The Weight of the Nation, which will air May 14-15. The bottom line of the film is, “To win, we have to lose.”
Laurel Lee-Alexander is director of grant programs for the Monterey Peninsula Foundation.