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

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


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.

Early child care centers are critical partners in all of our communities. Working with the Department of Health and Senior Services, 31 child care centers in HSHC communities are participating in the Eat Smart Move Smart program with a goal of increasing physical activity and nutrition standards.

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. On a state level, MFH supports the work of 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

Deidre Griffith

Program Director

(314) 345-5538

Rhonda Smythe

Program Officer

(314) 345-5569

Paula Ballew

Program Officer

(314) 345-5540

Doneisha Bohannon

Program Officer

(314) 345-5534