The Well Nourished Collaborative Action Network (CAN) of NEK Prosper! is enhancing health in our region through encouraging increased fruit and vegetable consumption. 

Food Hero, the strategy of the Well Nourished CAN, is a multi-channel social marketing campaign.

This multi-channel social marketing campaign is designed to change family and community behaviors that ultimately lead to individuals’ increased fruit and vegetable consumption. By engaging parents (and others) with fast, fun, and tasty recipes and food-planning tips that highlight fruits and vegetables, we’re working to ensure this generation, and the next, in the Northeast Kingdom are well nourished. The campaign includes both direct education level work as well as work at the policy, systems, and environment levels.

Developed at Oregon State University, Food Hero was originally designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income Oregonians but components of the campaign have been used widely in other states and countries. Research shows that Food Hero’s clearly focused messages, use of plain language, positive and realistic messaging, and simple tools for action have led to this strategy’s success.

 

Measures and Indicators:

The Well Nourished CAN is trying to turn the curve to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables in our region.

Outcome:

Everyone in Cal-Essex Counties is well-nourished by 2020

% of adolescents (grades 9–12) eating 2 or more fruits daily in 2018

  • Actual Value 34% 34%
  • Target Value 40% 40%

% of adolescents (grades 9–12) eating 3 or more vegetables daily in 2018

  • Actual Value 18% 18%
  • Target Value 20% 20%

Story Behind the Curve

Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk of obesity and chronic disease. Best practices indicate that consuming the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is beneficial. At every meal, half of the plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. Children who eat fruits and vegetables are more likely to continue to eat healthy as adults.

Partners

Local Schools, Resiliency Collaboration Members, Vermont Department of Education, USDA, Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Farm to School

What Works?

School based programs and policies – Universal School Lunch; Healthy Community Design – gardens, farmers’ markets, fruits and vegetables in stores.

% of adults eating 2 or more fruits daily in 2018

  • Actual Value 32% 32%
  • Target Value 45% 45%

% of adults eating 3 or more vegetables daily in 2018

  • Actual Value 20% 20%
  • Target Value 35% 35%

Story Behind the Curve

Adults with more education and higher household incomes are more likely to eat fruits 2 or more times daily and vegetables 3 or more times per pay.

Adults in homes with the highest incomes are significantly more likely to eat 2 or more fruits daily and 3 or more vegetables per day. Access (both physical and monetary) to vegetables for these populations affects these numbers.

Partners

Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Foodbank, Division of Maternal and Child Health, USDA, Three Squares Program, Grocery and Convenient Stores, Farmers’ Markets

What Works?

Social marketing; Worksite wellness programs; Healthy Community Design – community gardens, zoning making fruits and vegetables more accessible; Policy changes to make it easy to access healthy foods

Join Us!

Photo Gallery

Tools and Resources:

The Well Nourished CAN is trying to turn the curve to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables in our region.

How to Get Involved:

CAN members have strong expertise, influence, interest and/or resources in area of focus.

The Well Nourished CAN meets the first Monday of every month from 10 – 11a.m. at NVRH Business Center in St. Johnsbury.

Currently Well Nourished CAN members include representatives from:

  • Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital
  • Vermont Foodbank
  • UVM Extension
  • Green Mountain United Way
  • NEK Community Action
  • VT Department of Health
  • Faith In Action
  • NEK Council on Aging

If you are interested in joining the CAN or want to learn more about our work contact Chris Meehan at cmeehan@vtfoodbank.org