Building Healthy Communities | Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is home to one of the most spectacular waterfalls of the world. Alongside this magnet for international and domestic tourism, the Highland Avenue and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Niagara Falls are home to working class and vulnerable communities experiencing harsh realities. Residents and community leaders are working to address the lack of access to affordable nutritious food, activate public spaces, and help gain support for improvements to the built environment that increase connectivity and walkability.
Grantee Name: Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, Inc.
Project Title: Create a Healthier Niagara Falls
Grant Amount: $250,000
COMMUNITY FAST FACTS
- 2 out of 3 residents of Niagara Falls make less than $25,000 per year.
- 65% of children in the school district are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
- 39% of children live in poverty.
- Unemployment rate is 7.9% on average, and 17.1% for black residents.
- 30% of adults, 21% of children, and 13.2% low-income pre-schoolers are obese.
- 10% of adults have diabetes.
- Address the lack of access to healthy food;
- Activate public spaces for play and socialization; and
- Identify desires for lifestyle change indicated by residents in the target neighborhoods.
WHAT WE’VE ACHIEVED TO DATE
- Built 5 new community gardens;
- Increased the number of farmers markets participating in the Double Up Food Bucks initiative from 15 to 81, expanding the program from 5 to 11 counties;
- Expanded the number of farmers markets using EBT and accepting SNAP to 4; and
- Secured a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant of $300,000 to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program.
BUILT ENVIRONMENT & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
- Launched Pop-Up Park series to activate existing public spaces, such as parks and empty lots.
- Formed Resident Engagement Council, which trains residents to lead and advocate for community-improvement initiatives.
- Created the Niagara Falls Youth City Council, made up of nine high school youth who are formally advising the Niagara Falls City Council on issues pertaining to youth and recreation in Niagara Falls.
- Field & Fork Network
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
- ReNU Niagara
- Niagara Falls Housing Authority
- City of Niagara Falls Department of Community Development
- City of Niagara Falls Mayor’s Office
- City of Niagara Falls Planning Department
- Community Health Center of Buffalo
WHAT WE’RE INVESTING IN
- Community Currency Training
- Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan
- Development of a Strategic Communications Plan
- Building Healthy Communities Conference Scholarship
- Design and Implementation of the Niagara Falls Resident Leadership Program
- Niagara Falls Resident Leadership Program: Urban Alchemy Training
- Healthy Neighborhood Community Mapping Project
- Setting the Stage to Scale and Sustain the Double Up Food Bucks Program in Western New York and the Finger Lakes
- Wholesome Foods Pop-Up Market
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