City of Rancho Cucamonga, California creates Healthy RC
Our City of Rancho Cucamonga, California is located in the largest county in the contiguous United States and the fourth most obese. The county has the highest death rate from heart disease and the ninth highest death rate from diabetes. The county, moreover, has the state’s worst access to healthy food with six times as many unhealthy food retail outlets as healthy ones. Two out of every three residents are considered obese or overweight and three out of every four school children do not meet fitness standards.
In response to these alarming health statistics and environmental conditions, Rancho Cucamonga, with the full support and guidance of the City Council, has established Healthy Rancho Cucamonga (Healthy RC), a comprehensive City-wide initiative directed at encouraging healthy and sustainable lifestyles. As the entity with direct responsibility for providing and maintaining so many aspects of the environment that directly affect physical activity (parks, trails, streets, sidewalks, bike paths, etc.) and the availability of healthy food (zoning ordinance, conditional use permits, design review, etc.) the City is an excellent position to modify those environments to increase access and opportunities. Healthy RC is the overarching theme of the City’s recently updated General Plan, which will ensure the continuation of land use policies and community design that facilitates healthy eating and active living initiatives among children and families in Rancho Cucamonga.
To further these efforts the City is one of 41 sites nation-wide awarded a four-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative to prevent childhood obesity. Healthy RC Kids is a community-led effort committed to making the healthy choice, the easy choice by changing policies and environments to support active living and healthy eating in the community, placing special emphasis on reaching children who are at highest risk for obesity.
The Healthy RC Kids Partnership represents a collaborative effort of local residents and community leaders actively engaged in supporting community initiatives and developing long-term outcomes that help create a healthier environment. Their partners include community residents, representatives from all major City departments, County Department of Public Health, hospitals, schools, non-profits, faith based groups, community based organizations, businesses and local universities.
Through an extensive community outreach process, residents and community organizations identified a number of strategies to increase healthy eating and active living opportunities in their neighborhoods. The Healthy RC Kids Partnership is committed to altering local land-use policies so children have better access to parks and more options for recreation; creating safe routes for children to walk and bike to school; attracting fresh food outlets and modifying zoning regulations to allow “edible front yards;" and supporting farmers' markets and community gardens.
Rancho Cucamonga’s Strategies For Creating a Healthy Environment
- Comprehensive and Holistic Approach to Health
- Mobilize Public-Private Resources
- Empower Resident Leaders
- Advance Policies that Support Healthy Eating and Active Living Opportunities
- Leading By Example