INITIATIVES

The core of Healthy Roanoke Valley’s work is the partnership, but over the years we have taken on initiatives in collaboration with other partners. Our initiatives are programs that are driving our Strategic Framework forward and filling existing gaps in the community by bringing partners together in new ways.

Fresh Foods RX (FFRX) is a collaborative program developed with the goal of bringing together nutrition education and access to fresh, healthy, local fruits and vegetables. Participants attend weekly group education sessions focused on nutrition, diet, and healthy behaviors. At the end of the each session, participants receive a ‘prescription’ to use at the onsite LEAP Mobile Market, a mobile farmers market offering fresh, seasonal produce and eggs sourced locally. We have offered the program at primary care clinics for patients with diabetes; at a senior center for older adults; and at a library with families. Since 2015, we have had 151 people participate in the program.

Healthy Start (HS) is a collaborative providing experiences, education, and access to healthy lifestyle choices that improve the health, behavior, and attitudes of children and their families. HS targets children enrolled in Head Starts and elementary schools in MUAs in Roanoke City, along with their parents and caregivers. HS partner agencies and programs provide education about and tastings of whole foods in schools; incentives for participants to shop at the LEAP Mobile Market in their neighborhoods; education about healthy food and nutrition, cooking, and gardening to parents and caregivers; and families with the tools they need to prepare healthy whole foods at home. 

Since 2015, our partnership has been promoting a critical message: oral health is part of overall health. Through a health equity lens, we have integrated oral health into our community’s understanding of health and improved the public perception of oral health.