Steps to Advocate for Fruits, Vegetables, and Physical Activity in Your Community

  1. Bring together a group of 5 to 10 people who are interested in advocating for fruits, vegetables, and physical activity in your community. It would be ideal if you could continue to work with your group from class. If this is not possible, bring together friends, family members, neighbors, or co-workers.
  2. Determine what you want to advocate for in your community. Choose one thing in your community that could increase fruit and vegetable consumption and one thing that could increase physical activity.
    Here are a few examples of things you can advocate for in your community to increase fruit and vegetable consumption:
    • Request that fast food restaurants in your community serve more fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices.
    • Urge your local grocery store to sell quality fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.
    • Request the establishment of a farmers' market in your community.
    • Request that a community garden be placed in your neighborhood so that you and your neighbors can grow your own fruits and vegetables.
    Here are a few examples of things you can advocate for in your community to increase physical activity:
    • Work with local law enforcement to have a safe walking zone in your community.
    • Request that the Department of Transportation construct bicycle lanes in your community so that you and your neighbors will be able to ride your bicycles safely.
    • Work with your local schools to provide after-hours and weekend access to recreation facilities, gyms, and/or soccer fields.
    • Work with the Department of Parks and Recreation to upgrade walking paths in your community park.
  3. Work with your group to create a clear and concise problem statement for your fruit, vegetable, and physical activity issues.
    Here are examples of fruit and vegetable problem statements:
    • The fast food restaurants in our neighborhood do not serve fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices.
    • The grocery store(s) in our neighborhood do not sell quality fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.
    • There is not a farmers' market in our neighborhood.
    • There is not a community garden in our neighborhood.
    Here are examples of physical activity problem statements:
    • Our neighborhood does not have safe areas where we can walk with our family members and friends.
    • Our neighborhood does not have bicycle lanes, which makes it unsafe for us to ride our bicycles.
    • Our local schools do not provide after-hours and weekend access to recreation facilities, gyms, and/or soccer fields.
    • The walking path in our neighborhood park is unsafe and difficult to walk on, because it is littered with trash.
    Once your group has developed the problem statement, make sure all group members agree with the statement.
  4. Work with your group to list the steps that will be taken to solve the fruit, vegetable, and physical activity problems in your community. Once the group has completed the steps, make sure all group members agree with the solutions.
  5. Bring other people into your group who can help solve the fruit, vegetable, and physical activity problems and help advocate for your solutions. You may want to enlist the help of community leaders, local business owners, and local government agencies.
  6. Let appropriate decision-makers know about the fruit, vegetable, and physical activity problems that your group would like to solve. Make sure you clearly communicate your problem statements and steps needed to solve the problems.
    Using the examples shown in steps 2 and 3, here are examples of decision-makers for the fruit and vegetable issues:
    • Fast food restaurant owners, California Restaurant Association, and city and/or county officials.
    • Grocery store owners, local distributors and wholesalers of fruits and vegetables, local farmers, and city and/or county officials.
    • City and/or county officials, local farmers and farmer organizations, and representatives of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
    • Representatives of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the University of California Cooperative Extension.
    Using the examples shown in steps 2 and 3, here are examples of decision-makers for the physical activity issues:
    • Local law enforcement and city and/or county officials.
    • Representatives of the Department of Transportation.
    • School Principals and the District Superintendent.
    • Representatives of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
    Continue to discuss and advocate for improved access to fruits, vegetables, and physical activity until a reasonable outcome is achieved.
    To get more help in advocating for fruits, vegetables, and physical activity in your community, visit the Center for Collaborative Planning Web site at www.connectccp.org. To get help in establishing a farmers' market in your community, visit www.ams.usda.gov and click on farmers' markets. To get more information about certified farmers' markets in California, visit www.cafarmersmarkets.com.

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