Community Efforts to Increase Consumption of Locally Grown Fresh Foods

Box of vegetables, Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge Runner Up logo

NEWS UPDATE: Waco-McLennan County is a Tier 1 Runner-Up of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge.


The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has used a data-driven approach to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, relying on their vegetable prescription service and a coalition of established partners to reach those most in need. 

"The Healthy Soul Food Cooking Demonstration has been an eye-opening opportunity for me over the years!  To learn how to make healthier southern foods such as collards, sweet potato pie, and chicken gumbo has assisted my family members in lowering our cholesterol and making better choices at the grocery store.”  – An attendee of the Healthy Soul Food education session.

News Coverage: KXXV, Health district wins award for efforts to increase healthy eating

Location: Waco-McLennan County, Texas, population 378,027

The Problem: Poor nutrition habits play a significant role in chronic disease risk, more specifically obesity. Results from the McLennan County community survey revealed three zip codes within the county with increased rates of obesity.  

man packs vegetables into boxes

smiling woman in long apron shows off meal as two other women look on women stand at a table at the farmers market

Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Approach: The project will help residents in these three zip codes to more easily access and eat healthy foods by promoting current resources of fresh and locally grown food, hosting nutrition education sessions, and utilizing community health workers to connect residents to resources as well as providing fresh produce delivery. Midway through the Challenge, Waco was awarded the Spotlight Award. Learn more about the interim award

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