Healthy Communities Coalition
In 2009, Meeting Waters YMCA Executive Director and Healthy Living Coordinator Steve Fortier founded the Healthy Communities Coalition of Windham County (HCC). Later that year, the coalition was accepted into the Pioneering Healthier Communities movement--a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and YMCA of the USA (the Ys' national resource center).
In 2011, the CDC and YMCA of the USA selected HCC was one of four national "Model Success Stories" of healthy communities work.
The vision of HCC is “communities engaged in active living and healthy eating facilitated by supportive policies, systems and environments.” Our focus is to positively impact the obesity and chronic disease epidemic by improving supports for routine physical activity and access to nutritious foods for all people throughout Windham County. Our major effort has been helping organizations, worksites, schools, childcare centers, youth-serving organizations, and communities assess their supports for healthy lifestyles and make changes to their policies, systems and environments to make the healthy choice the easier choice. To date, we have worked with over 40 organizations and communities throughout Windham County whose policy, systems and/or environmental changes have made "the healthy choice the easy choice" for more than 20,000 people... nearly half of the population of Windham County.
Check out our video, "Bright Spots: Stories From the Healthy Communities Coalition."
As part of our efforts to address food insecurity in our communities and to improve access to healthy foods, we developed a Healthy Food Donations Guide. We ask you to refer to the guide before you make purchases of foods to donate to Project Feed the Thousands or directly to your local food pantry. Thanks!