The 240-mile long San Joaquin Valley is a major agricultural region encompassing eight counties (Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin) in central California. But the bounty of the land does not extend to the population; residents, many of them migrant workers, have among the lowest per capita income, highest rate of poverty and least educational attainment in the state. All are factors contributing to pronounced rates of overweight and obesity, particularly among youth.
The Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP), developed by the Central California Public Health Partnership, has received funding through the Foundation’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities national program to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the valley. CCROPP is providing advocacy training to at least 100 residents across the Valley, and each community will decide its goals toward greater access to healthy food and physical activity for children. The effort was recently featured on NPR’s Morning Edition.