Healthier By 2020! PDF Print E-mail

The United Wayof the Wabash Valley (UWWV) instills healthy behaviors in the community through their Healthier By 2020 (Hb2020) initiative. UWWV aims to achieve a broad goal of decreasing the percentage of adults and children who are obese from 30% to 25% by 2020, thus our name of Healthier By 2020!

The Wabash Valley Mobile Market reaches in to food deserts providing residents with fresh, vibrant produce.  It's a traveling produce market that brings fresh fruits and vegetables to neighborhoods in the Wabash Valley.  The Mobile Market goes to locations where individuals and families find it challenging to maintain healthy eating habits with a focus on low income areas, food deserts and demographics with decreased mobility.  Customers can use cash, credit/debit cards, and food stamps (EBT/SNAP cards) to buy an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables at costs that are typically lower than grocery stores.  It serves over 20 stops.  UWWV offers a solution to the physical, financial and educational market failures in the food deprived areas of Vigo County and other portions of our UWWV service area such as Vermillion County.  This component will encourage healthier eating habits and decrease the incidence of diet-related chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. 

The Mobile Market is aligned with two important outcomes which are, increasing the percentage of adults who eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables per day from 21% to 24% by 2020, and increasing the availablity of fresh fruits and vegetables to customers by reducing the distance to fresh produce by 75%.  


The second component of Hb2020 is the development of Community Teaching Kitchens at various locations throughout the community, established to teach people how to make a healthy, low cost and quick meal in 30 minutes from products available from the Wabash Valley Mobile Market.  Those who participate will learn valuable skills that will help them make better food choices for themselves and their families. After each session, participants take home recipes, main ingredients, and a gift (for example, a cutting board), so they can cook each meal at home. The Teaching Kitchens create a sense of community around preparing food.  These Kitchens impart important skills in just 30 minutes, including healthy kitchen habits and cooking skills to participants.  This component falls under the healthy behaviors domain by promoting knowledge of at-home meal preparation.  UWWV has several partner agencies and businesses with available kitchens for developing and hosting such programs. 

The Community Teaching Kitchen's major goal is to ensure that 50% of its participants obtain a better understanding of food preparation and safety, nutrition, and meal planning.   We also want to increase participants' knowledge about cooking and food as a whole, and to ultimately reduce obesity rates in the county where they are taught.


The third component involves partnering with our local Chamber of Commerce and our YMCA through recreational activities in order to get people moving again in organized exercise programs. (formerly is part of this effort and will soon list many physical activity opportunities such as running, walking, biking, yoga, dancing, and Zumba!  As this component of the program grows, it will be essential to continue to grow an “exercise” culture in the community by also using the strength of the UWWV workplace to promote the importance of active youth and adults.  








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