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California Project LEAN is a nationally recognized program with a proven track record of improving the food and activity environment in California communities and schools. Over the past 15 years, California Project LEAN has either conducted projects that have increased access to healthy foods and physical activity options in community settings through policy and environmental changes or provided technical assistance to others implementing similar efforts. Below is an overview of some of California Project LEAN's achievements:
- Since 2011, California Project LEAN has served as the strategic direction lead overseeing the beverage work of CA4Health, a Community Transformation Grant funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CA4Health, a program of the Public Health Institute in partnership with the California Department of Public Health, partners with 41 counties across the state to address four strategic directions. The healthy eating active living strategic direction seeks to increase access to healthy beverages in multiple settings from schools to government and community-based organizations.
- Since 2010, California Project LEAN has provided training and technical assistance to grantees working in schools for The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities program by supporting local school wellness policy work that increases access to healthy foods and drinks and physical activity options for California students. California Project LEAN also has trained parents across the state and key intermediaries that work with parents on ways to engage parents in the wellness policy work.
- From 2010-2012, California Project LEAN led the beverage work of the California Department of Public Health’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant to reduce access to sugary drinks in the heartland of this state, the San Joaquin Valley.
- From 2005 through 2010, California Project LEAN provided technical assistance to grantees working in schools for The California Endowment’s obesity prevention programs, Healthy Eating, Active Communities and the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program.
- In 2004, California Project LEAN received the Innovation in Prevention Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its work at increasing school boards’ adoption of healthy nutrition policies prior to the federal mandate for local school wellness policies.
- In 2003, former Senator Tom Torlakson commended California Project LEAN's research on soda and snack foods in schools and said it helped him frame soda and junk food contract legislation for public schools.
- In 2002, Senator Martha Escutia commended California Project LEAN's work commissioning the 2000 California High School Fast Food Survey and launching a media advocacy campaign around it, noting it was the impetus for her legislation restricting unhealthy foods and beverages in public schools.
- In 2001, California Project LEAN received top honors (a Crystal Award) from the International Association of Business Communicators, Sacramento Chapter, for its public relations campaign releasing the 2000 California High School Fast Food Survey.
- California Project LEAN's Food on the Run project, which operated in 30 low-resource California school districts to improve the nutrition and activity environments for K-12 public school students, received a 2000 Dannon Award for Excellence in Community Nutrition for successfully engaging youth and increasing the number of healthy foods at high schools.