The American Planning Association and APHA have announced $2.25 million in grants to 18 local coalitions to address lack of physical activity and lack of access to nutritious foods, two major determinants of chronic disease. APHA Affiliates, APA chapters and local organizations comprise these coalitions set to utilize the funds.

The grants are provided through Plan4Health, a 15-month program designed to connect planning efforts with public health endeavors that is funded  through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We look forward to the role that the APHA Affiliates will play in mobilizing action within local communities to ultimately build a healthier nation,” said Kimberly Moore Smith, director of Affiliate Affairs at APHA. “Through their collaboration with other organizations and APA chapters, we will see an exciting new convergence of the public health and planning communities that yields true improvements to active living and healthy eating.”

Grant recipients were selected through a review process. The awards will allow coalitions to identify and implement innovative tactics that can address impediments to physical activity and access to nutritious foods in communities. Iowa’s Linn County Coalition that includes the Iowa Public Health Association, for example, will focus on improvements to street and city design to better facilitate physical activity, and technical assistance to food pantries to increase the healthy food options and better inform city planners about the role of food pantries.

For more information about the Plan4Health initiative, visit online or follow the #Plan4Health hashtag on Twitter.