Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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April 12, 2018

Upcoming Grant Opportunity

food access

Good Food Access equipment grant

The next round of GFAP equipment grant applications closes on April 19. This grant opportunity is to assist grocery stores and small food retailers to purchase equipment or make physical improvements that will increase availability and access to affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate foods. The focus on this grant is to serve low income neighborhoods with food deserts and underserved populations. 

More information can be found at the Good Food Access Program Equipment Grant website or on the FAQ webpage provided by MDH.

School Nutrition Equipment Grants

Midwest Dairy offering school nutrition equipment grants

This grant opportunity is to assist School Nutrition directors in the purchase of equipment that will enhance the long term implementation of their school meal programs. The grant funds may be used to purchase food service equipment for the storage, handling and delivery of dairy foods. The grant application for these school Nutrition equipment grant applications are accepted through April 30.

Watch a short video on how to complete a successful grant application and visit the online grant application to learn more about this opportunity.

Registration for Walk! Bike! Fun! Trainings

Walk bike fun

Registration is open

The registration for Walk! Bike! Fun! spring trainings is now open. These trainings will be held in Proctor and Willmar with an additional Walk Bike Fun ambassador's training in Stillwater. The Ambassador training is for local adult volunteers that are interested in helping out their communities by planning, organizing, and implementing safe biking and walking programs. Watch for additional trainings in June.

Visit the event page for information on the Ambassador training. To register for the curriculum trainings visit the event pages for Proctor and Willmar.

SHIP Spring Regional Meetings

SHIP logo

Safe Routes to Food

Thank you to those who have already attended one of the Spring Regional Meetings. If you haven't already done so, we would love to hear your feedback and thoughts! You may provide feedback with an online evaluation survey on the MDH website. 

If you have further feedback on the Local Planning Implementation toolkit, contact Mary Marrow, Public Health Law Center at or 651.695.7605

It's not too late to register for the remaining regional meetings in Grand Rapids, Winona, and Fosston! Details can be found on the SHIP registration link.

State of Tobacco Control

American Lung Association

Annual report on tobacco use

The American Lung Association has released their 16th annual report and a press release. This years report focuses on populations that have been disproportionately affected by tobacco use and secondhand smoke. The information and Minnesota specific data may help with future social media efforts on tobacco cessation.

Visit the website for the American Lung Association to access the annual report.

Tip of the Week

Communications resource

The CDC has various communications resources to assist with health communication efforts for their partners. One of which is Voices for Healthy kids.

Constructing messages about healthy drinks can be tricky, but Voices for Healthy Kids provides tips on messaging as well as fast facts about sugary beverages to help with your healthy beverages communication campaign.  

Calendar of Events

Webinar: Evaluating Physical Activity and Nutrition Strategies

Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 12:45 p.m.

Evaluation is key to building a successful workplace wellness program. SHIP provides some existing tools for evaluating the workplace as a whole, but it is important to remember that the individual strategies have their own goals and challenges as well. The second webinar in this evaluation series will discuss how to evaluate the physical activity and nutrition strategies.

Join the webinar session to learn more about how to successfully implement your physical activity and nutrition strategies into workplace wellness. Session password is Spring2018*.

Dial: 844-302-0362

Access code: 639 654 277

Webinar: Success Stories

Date: Monday, April 23
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Success stories give your SHIP efforts life and can help explain PSE work in a way that has impact and is understandable. Learn what OSHII communications staff look for in success stories.  During the webinar, you'll hear how several SHIP grantees identify effective story ideas and leverage content in other communications channels.

Join the webinar, visit the Minnesota Department of Health WebEx webinar page and follow the instructions. Session password is Spring2018*.

Dial: 844-302-0362    

Access Code: 637 306 717

This Week's Gem

Greenhouse in Lake City High School

No spring? No problem. The Lake City School has a new, year-round greenhouse that means Mother Nature is no longer a factor in preventing fresh produce from reaching the plates of students, and beyond.

The school district partnered with Wabasha area SHIP years ago to bring the farm to school movement on site. On Wednesday, April 11, the page turned on the latest chapter of that partnership with an open house celebrating the opening of the new greenhouse. It was also an opportunity to display the rows of seedlings, which, when ripe, will bring cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and squash to the area food shelf and to the lunch trays of hundreds of students. 

It took a year round facility to be able to venture in this direction, and Superintendent Erick Enger says it wouldn’t have happened without SHIP support. “We are excited about this opportunity. We are going down unchartered territory with the growing of vegetables, but we are happy to be here now and can’t wait to see how the community responds. It wouldn’t have happened without SHIP at the table.”

Way to go in identifying an area need and seizing the opportunity to be a part of the solution, Lake City Schools.