Let's eat healthier!

Community Access to Healthy Foods (CAHF)
We are working with state and local governments, community leaders, and others to make access to affordable, healthy foods easier for all Arkansans.

Access to Healthy Foods

We are working with state and local governments, community leaders, and others to make access to affordable, healthy foods easier for all Arkansans.

Work to eliminate food deserts.

  1. Work with Arkansas Economic Development Commission to address and incentivize access to healthy foods (gas stations, convenience stores, discount outlets, groceries.)
  2. Promote nutrition education in retail food outlets.
  3. Educate policy-and decision-makers about access issues.
  4. Identify local resources that can be utilized for food distribution (buildings, people and money)
  5. Develop local partnerships to ensure food outlets are making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Expand local garden projects, small farms, farmers’ markets and gleaning programs.

  1. Expand participation in University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension and Arkansas Agriculture Department’s MarketMaker and Arkansas Grown programs.
  2. Increase the number of farmers and stakeholders participating in gleaning programs.
  3. Establish a farm-to-school program with a full-time program coordinator.
  4. Expand number of school and community gardens.
  5. Establish a mechanism for developing local farmers’ markets and mobile markets.
  6. Collaborate to educate and assist the state-up of small farm operations.
  7. Create mechanisms to facilitate growth of urban farming.

Increase participation in nutrition assistance programs.

  1. Increase participation in all USDA food programs.
  2. Increase the number of farmers’ markets accepting EBT, WIC, etc.
  3. Increase participation in farmers’ markets by removing barriers and improving access.

Use evidence-based nutrition education programs.

  1. Increase awareness of need for nutrition education among key stakeholders (faith-based organizations, school and community leaders, parents, food outlets, businesses, etc.)
  2. Increase participation in community-based resources/programs such as Cooking Matters, Cooking Matters at the Store, SNAP-Ed, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.
  3. Increase training opportunities in nutrition education for care givers (older adults, chronic diseases, etc.)
  4. Mandate statewide comprehensive pre-K-12 nutrition education.
  5. Integrate nutrition education into core content areas.
  6. Ensure inclusion of nutrition courses as degree requirements for education majors.
  7. Strengthen requirement for licensure in early child care settings to include nutrition standards and nutrition education.
  8. Educate after-school program providers in nutrition and nutrition education.
  9. Require federal and state funded after-school programs to meet nutrition standards.

Educate health care professionals and cross-functional hospital teams in nutrition education and about access to healthy food.

  1. Ensure integration of nutrition assessment, lifestyle modification and the role of nutrition and physical activity in disease management and prevention in medical school and allied health curricula and continuing education opportunities.
  2. Assist with best practices in establishing hospital-based food pantries.
  3. Develop programs to link access to food and nutrition education to health care teams.

Expand current public policies to assure inclusion of healthy foods, such as increasing state food-purchasing program to include fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to low-income Arkansans.


Arkansas Grown
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance
Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention
Arkansas MarketMaker
Arkansas Agriculture Department Programs
Access to Healthy Food Report Priorities Workshop 2017


We are working with health care providers, employers, and communities to help create places and policies that make breastfeeding easier for moms.

Develop programs, provide support, and build awareness that breastfeeding is the optimal way of providing infants with nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.

  1. Promote evidence-based breastfeeding education and certification programs for medical providers, including students in health care professions.
  2. Create a statewide resource guide for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant breastfeeding support.
  3. Provide adequate inpatient and outpatient lactation support for all women who give birth in Arkansas.
  4. Establish reimbursement for lactation consultation from public and private insurance plans.
  5. Provide evidence-based education for families to promote breastfeeding with a focus on low-income Arkansans.

Encourage adoption of Baby-Friendly guidelines as outlined by The CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies.

  1. Promote the concept and benefit of baby-friendly to all birthing facilities.
  2. Establish incentives and recognition for facilities that achieve baby-friendly status.

Develop awareness and encourage limitations on the marketing practices of infant formula.

  1. Review and adopt policy elements as they relate to the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes as reflected in the CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers & Babies.
  2. Promote these policies to hospital corporate compliance departments and physician practices.

Ensure support for breastfeeding within child care centers.

  1. Increase the number of child care centers that provide support for their breastfeeding employees and breastfeeding mothers of the babies within their care.
  2. Create policies to ensure all child care facilities are breastfeeding friendly.

Generate breastfeeding support within the community.

  1. Advocate for community and public spaces to provide safe and welcoming areas for mothers to nurse or express milk for their children.

Create breastfeeding campaigns that recognize the cultural diversity of communities.

  1. Develop culturally relevant media efforts that include virtual and in-person tactics that will promote breastfeeding.
  2. Raise awareness of all Arkansas laws that eliminate barriers and promote a mother’s right to breastfeed.

Work with employers to develop worksite lactation support programs.

  1. Raise awareness of Arkansas Act 621 of 2009 as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s break time requirement for nursing mothers to express breast milk.
  2. Provide outreach and education to businesses on the positive aspects of breastfeeding for employers and employees via roundtable forums, fact sheets, speakers’ bureau.
  3. Promote use of HRSA Business case for breastfeeding toolkit among human resource professionals and the State Chamber of Commerce.
  4. Recognize businesses that go above and beyond what is required in breastfeeding support.


Ready, Set, Baby Breastfeeding class
Ark. Breastfeeding Community Resources
Lactation-Wellness Room Design Plans
Baby-Friendly Hospital Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria
Find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Arkansas Breastfeeding Laws
Guide to Breastfeeding Strategies to Support Mothers and Babies
UAMS Breastfeeding Resources
Baptist Health - Expressly For You
Breastfeeding in the Community: Sharing Implementations that Work

Healthy Worksites

We are helping employers make eating healthy food, getting physical activity, and supporting breastfeeding moms easier for their employees.

Help employers establish effective wellness programs for their worksites.

  1. Collect and use evidence-based best practices.
  2. Develop a communication plan to reach and enlist decision-makers, leaders, stakeholders and worksite champions.
  3. Advocate for tax incentives, insurance premium reductions, etc. for employers.
  4. Advocate for and implement employee incentives.

Help employers reduce the health care costs of obesity-related conditions.

  1. Measure the level of obesity-related chronic conditions at worksites.
  2. Educate employees on chronic conditions, prevention, and treatment options.
  3. Employers and insurers provide support programs for obesity related chronic conditions internally or through outreach.
  4. Implement worksite wellness policies or formal written agreements to decrease obesity-related chronic conditions.
  5. Encourage individual employers to adopt Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities.
  6. Provide employers with model policies around other wellness topics.

Create a more effective worksite by educating employers about the business case for worksite wellness.

  1. Work to compile, analyze, and use health trend data such as medical and pharmacy costs, short and long-term disability, absenteeism, etc.
  2. Compile and share success stories from Arkansas employers that have realized a positive ROI from their worksite wellness initiatives.

Increase the number of worksite wellness programs and employee participation in those programs.

  1. Establish a statewide healthy employer recognition system.
  2. Develop a web-based tracking system to collect and share aggregate employer and employee wellness participation data.
  3. Use data collected to tailor a worksite wellness program to a specific worksite guided by external vendors such as: state and local government agencies, non-profits, insurance companies, employee assistance companies and wellness vendors.


Your Health Matters Comprehensive Guide to Worksite Well-Being
Lactation-Wellness Room Design Plans
AHELP/CHELP Worksite Wellness Programs
American Heart Association Healthy Workplace Food & Beverage Toolkit
Arkansas Breastfeeding Laws
EEOC Sample Notice for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs
Food Service Guidelines
Rethink Your Drink Toolkit

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Reduction

We are working with schools, businesses, community organizations, health care providers, and others to encourage people of all ages to drink more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

Reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in worksites, public places, and recreation.

  1. Develop educational messages to agencies, businesses, and the public.
  2. Review model policies and adapt and distribute them to local and state partners.
  3. Work with local and state partners to initiate policies that will lead to decreased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  4. Create an advocacy campaign to address need, urgency and cost benefit of SSB reduction targeted at decision-makers (such as human resources and administration.)
  5. Review model beverage contract language, adapt as needed and distribute to local and state partners.
  6. Identify lead corporations (e.g. hospitals) to adopt SSB policies, then recruit other businesses to participate.

Reduce consumption of SSBs in schools.

  1. Review model beverage contract language, adapt as needed, and distribute through local and state partners.
  2. Develop and implement district policies that prohibit the sale of SSBs.
  3. Incorporate SSB policy implementation, as needed, into the Wellness Priority of the Arkansas Consolidated School Improvement Plan (ACSIP) to assure accountability.
  4. Develop local means (in addition to state agency reviews) to perform policy compliance checks.
  5. Develop a recognition system for achievements in SSB reduction within local school districts.
  6. Use campaigns to increase consumption of water and fat-free/low-fat milk.

Use policy incentives and disincentives (such as limits on time SSBs are available, size of containers and/or product mix) that will impact sugar-sweetened beverage purchases.

  1. Increase water availability through pricing strategies, product location/placement and free water fountains.
  2. Increase fat-free/low-fat milk availability through pricing strategies and product placement/location.
  3. Require caloric labeling of SSBs in vending machines.
  4. Limit portion size of all SSBs sold in state and local government owned or operated facilities.
  5. Promote a kids-meal default beverage as fat-free/low-fat milk.

Eliminate use of SSBs in licensed day care centers.

  1. Develop and implement policies through DHS Child Care Licensing to eliminate the use of SSBs.
  2. Increase free water availability at all times.
  3. Use campaigns to increase consumption of water and milk (fat-free/low-fat) for children age 2 and older.


Rethink Your Drink Toolkit
Rethink Your Drink Toolkit (Spanish)
Water Works: A Guide to Improving Water Access and Consumption in Schools to Improve Health and Support Learning
CDC: Increasing Access to Drinking Water in Schools
Slides: Increasing Access to Drinking Water in Schools
Marketing in Schools Assessment Tool

Nutritional Standards in Government, Institutions and the Private Sector

We are ensuring everyone has access to healthy foods and beverages in government, institutions, and private sector settings.

Implement Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities.

  1. Create a distribution plan for the guidelines.
  2. Implement the guidelines via multiple avenues, e.g. a pilot program, changes in organizational policy among different sectors, legislation, Executive Order.
  3. Continually evaluate, adjust, and identify best practices, and market success stories to other organizations.

Generate a culture of and demand for healthier foods.

  1. Create a marketing plan for healthier options that includes components such as differential pricing, product placement, messaging, taste-testing.
  2. Increase awareness of the wide array of  healthy, delicious, better-tasting options.
  3. Work with vendors to provide healthy food and beverage options.
  4. Phase in the sale/provision of foods and beverages to primarily healthy options.


Food Service Guidelines
AHA Healthy Workplace Food & Beverage Toolkit
Healthy Meeting Toolkit
Promoting Healthy Eating at Work
Healthy Vending Guide
Rethink Your Drink Toolkit
Building and Implementing Healthy Food Services
Employee Interest Survey

Nutritional Standards in Schools

We are working with state and local governments, early child care providers, school districts and colleges to help make it easier for students of all ages to eat healthier food.

Provide mandatory, evidence-based nutrition education to improve the health of children attending early child care centers through college.

  1. Enact legislation requiring evidence-based nutrition education.
  2. Identify and disseminate evidence-based nutrition instruction resources with a focus on hands-on, experiential learning (school gardens, etc.)
  3. Provide students a minimum of 20 hours of healthy food education/activities per year.
  4. Provide professional development opportunities for instructional staff in the content area of nutritional education.

Increase participation in federally-funded school meal programs.

  1. Develop a marketing plan targeting nonparticipating schools and early child care centers.
  2. Require federally-funded school meal programs to develop and implement an annual marketing plan in collaboration with district wellness committees.
  3. Provide training and professional development according to state and federal guidelines for child nutrition directors and food service staff, with a focus on quality.
  4. Require all school districts with a minimum of 3,000 students to employ a registered dietitian.

Increase access to fresh, affordable, healthy foods.

  1. Increase access to locally-grown produce.
  2. Encourage schools to develop procurement policies for the purchase of fresh, locally-grown foods.
  3. Create a statewide farm-to-school coordinator position with permanent funding.

Create learning environments with easy access to healthy choices.

  1. Increase the number of schools using the coordinated school health model.
  2. Increase the number of schools meeting USDA’s Healthier US School Challenge criteria.
  3. Increase the number of schools providing alternate breakfast delivery service.


ADE Child Nutrition Related Commissioner's Memos
Rethink Your Drink Toolkit
Tips for a Healthy Classroom
ADE Nutrition News and Resource Roundup
A Guide to Improving Water Access and Consumption in Schools to Improve Health and Support Learning
Arkansas Farm to School
Smarter Lunchrooms Movement
Share Table Guide
MyPlate on Campus Toolkit
Increasing Access to Drinking Water in Schools
Choose My Plate
Marketing in Schools Assessment Tool
Healthier School Day - USDA
National School Nutrition Association
Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Want to learn more about HAA or get involved with one of the three areas of change? Send us your contact information and we’ll be in touch.