Healthy Schools Healthy Communities

From introducing healthier foods and more opportunities for physical activity in schools, to improving parks and sidewalks, to building new bike trails — communities are making changes to schools and local environments that will have lasting impact. And HSHC is providing the knowledge, tools, and support to help make it possible.

Healthy Schools Healthy Communities

Building a Healthier Future


Click here to see a map of participating districts and partner organizations.

Schools as the Hub

The Healthy Schools Healthy Communities initiative works at the school district level, and school districts in turn reach out to their K-8 schools. Schools conduct wellness assessments and create action plans in order to meet intermediate outcomes and the long-term goal of reducing the incidence of childhood obesity in their districts.

School wellness committee action plans address school foods, physical education/activity, health education, school policy, and family engagement. MFH provides a resource guide of approaches and programs to assist in the development of concrete action steps that may be funded.

Key to these efforts is our support for a school district wellness coordinator, who develops and organizes committees and offers expert technical assistance.

As of 2018, there are 32 two school districts (with a total of nearly 30,000 students), and 13 partner organizations participating in Schools as the Hub. Participating schools receive technical assistance and support from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Healthy Communities

With input from the school districts, HSHC engages community organizations to form partnerships and develop action plans that address barriers to healthy eating and active living for children in targeted communities. Community representatives work closely with school district wellness coordinators in order to ensure effort alignment, steady progress, and ongoing communication. Community organizations receive technical assistance for planning and implementation from experts at Local Motion (formerly PedNet Coalition).

Early child care centers are critical partners in all of our communities. More than 30 child care centers located in HSHC communities are participating in HSHC through technical assistance from Child Care Aware of Missouri, which increases physical activity and nutrition standards at the early childcare sites located within HSHC communities. The centers are in proximity to participating schools, with the expectation that many of the children will transition into existing HSHC K-8 schools and will already be accustomed to the nutrition and physical activity approaches being implemented.

These community efforts have a local and/or organizational policy focus, engaging school administrators as well as local and state legislators in order to enforce policies and regulations that are likely to facilitate and sustain improved physical activity and healthy eating environments.

Statewide Focus & Collaboration

HSHC seeks opportunities to collaborate with other funders, nonprofits, and government entities to promote healthy choices for children and their families. MFH provides leadership and support to other statewide organizations including the Missouri Coordinated School Health Coalition and the Subcommittee on Childhood Obesity, which was formed to advise the Missouri Children’s Services Commission. Recommendations have been made that could impact schools, child care centers, and treatment options for overweight and obese children.

The Foundation is also a founding partner of the Missouri Convergence Partnership, a funders collaborative, that is committed to improving equitable access to healthy foods and resources for active living across the state. The group is supporting toolkit development to encourage policies that allow the public to use school facilities for physical activities.

HSHC Contacts

Kathleen Holmes

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

(314) 345-5572