Policy, Systems, & Environmental Change Initiatives
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Steps to Health is dedicated to inspiring healthier communities by shaping the environments where individuals with limited-income buy, cook, consume, and enjoy food. We support NC State Extension professionals and partners in efforts to create policies, systems, and environments (PSE) that make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Steps to Health PSE initiatives are based on many factors that influence what people eat and how they choose to be active. From access to healthy food to the walkability of communities, people adopt certain heath behaviors for a variety of reasons.
PSE vs One-Time Events/Activities
Although one-time events and activities can lead to PSE work, for reporting purposes we look at them a little differently. PSE work is part of an ongoing project/plan that reaches the community/population level and is part of an ongoing, long-term, sustainable plan. A one-time event/activity, reaches the individual level, does not start out as part of an ongoing plan, is short-term, and not sustainable. More information on one-time events and activities can be found here.
|Characteristics of a one-time event or indirect activity||Characteristics of PSE Change|
|Individual level||Community/Population level|
|Short term||Long term|
|Stand alone||Part of an ongoing plan|
PSE can be done in multiple settings including education settings, communities sites, food pantries, food retail stores, and farmers markets.
Educational Settings: Schools are a great place to create an environment that makes healthy choices easier for students, teachers, staff, and the community.
Community Sites: By working with community partners, STH is able to implement best practices to assist community sites in creating an environment that makes the healthy choices easier.
Food Pantries: Through partnership with food pantries, STH helps ensure that pantries effectively distribute food to those in need, and improve the health of their clients in the process.
Food Retail Stores: Assist food retail stores in creating an environment that makes healthy choices easier.
Farmers Markets: Contribute to thriving, inclusive, and healthy farmers market environments.
Faith-based Sites: Faith-based organizations can be strong partners in imagining and implementing policy, systems, and environmental change. Faith-based sites might include faith communities (any religious or faith tradition) or faith-based non-profit organizations.
Who qualifies for STH PSE Work
STH is funded through the USDA SNAP-Ed Program. Based on the current SNAP-Ed funding requirements, in order to qualify for STH programming, an individual or a community must qualify for SNAP benefits. At a community level, this may mean looking at the census tract data for the area or digging a little deeper into site specific information. Below is a list of how a community or a site would qualify for STH PSE work. If you are unsure if the site you are working in qualifies, please contact Tammy Brunelle.
For more information about Steps to Health PSE initiatives, contact Tammy Brunelle