Urban Detroiters have long faced obstacles to achieving good health and fitness – from streets that discourage biking or walking because of traffic hazards; to neighborhood convenience marts lacking healthy food choices, such as fresh fruit or whole-grain bread; to schools not always providing the healthiest choices or offering fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables.
Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative is working to remove obstacles to healthy living for children, families and individuals living and working in the city. We are a group of 65 individuals, representing more than 40 organizations, developing ways to ensure that everyone in Detroit – especially the most vulnerable children – has access to affordable, healthy locally grown food and opportunities to be physically active. From creating safer streets to improving access to fresh food, we’re removing wellness obstacles so that residents can make healthy food and fitness an easier part of every day life.
Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative has three work groups, each with a different focus on creating a healthier Detroit. Activities of the work groups support systems and policy change while making immediate and tangible differences in the lives of Detroiters.
Active Living Work Group
With a goal to increase access to good food and physical activity for Detroiters, the Built Environment / Physical Activity Work group is working to design and build accessible and safe streets and sidewalks for walkers and bikers using Complete Streets guidelines. Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street. Complete Street renovations in Detroit have been completed or are in progress on Anthony Wayne Drive in Midtown, Saint Jean St. on the near east side, along Michigan Avenue, and in the Conner Creek neighborhood.
Food Systems Work Group
This group’s goal is to improve access to and consumption of fresh, healthy and affordable food by increasing the capacity and ability of Detroit families to access and purchase good, fresh food. The Food System Work Group is also working to increase demand for food that is locally grown, raised, or processed and is supporting the work of the Detroit Food Policy Council to advocate for an urban agriculture and composting policy as part of the City of Detroit’s future strategic plans. The work group has supported projects like Double Up Food Bucks, to help public food assistance dollars stretch farther for Detroiters at farm markets – encouraging healthier food choices and better understanding of our local food system.
Schools Work Group
Supporting Detroit schools’ efforts to provide healthy, freshly prepared, and locally grown or produced foods in schools, the Schools Work Group has initiatives in a number of areas. It is helping with Detroit Public School’s food improvement plan and supporting the school district’s role in the national movement for school food improvement. In organizing around the federal requirements around wellness and nutrition, the group is educating and raising awareness around children’s nutritional needs. To date, the Schools Work Group has initiated Farm to School projects with local schools and is working to get more fresh fruit and vegetable programs going.
Health Care Work Group
This group’s goal is to promote a healthier Detroit through working at the intersection of healthy food and health care – bringing good food to the frontline of health care. The Health Care Work Group will work to improve the health and well-being of Detroiters and foster innovative relationships to build a healthy, sustainable food system. The work group will support new ways to conjoin good food and health care. It has supported the expansion and evaluation of projects like Fresh Prescription, a fruit and vegetable prescription program that engages health care, food access and nutrition education partners in growing a healthier community.
The Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2009. Detroit was one of nine U.S. cities chosen by Kellogg to institute community change in the areas of food, health and fitness. Gleaners Community Food Bank is the lead agency and fiscal grantee for the project.
We welcome your support as the work groups of the Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative strive to enhance the quality of life and overall health of Detroit residents by transforming their food and fitness environments. Learn how you can help →
Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative Members
- Adult Well-Being Services
- Black Family Development
- CHASS/REACH Detroit Partnership
- City Connect Detroit
- City Year Detroit
- Detroit Department of Health & Wellness Promotion
- Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative
- Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
- Detroit Food Justice Task Force
- Detroit Parent Network
- Detroit Food Policy Council
- Detroit Greenways Coalition
- Detroit Public Schools, Health, Physical Education & Safety Department
- Detroit Public Schools, Office of School Nutrition
- Eastern Market Corporation
- Ecology Center
- Fair Food Network
- Focus: HOPE
- FoodPlus – Detroit
- Food System Economic Partnership
- Forgotten Harvest
- Full and Fabulous
- G.O. Williams and Associates
- Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan
- Greening of Detroit
- Healthy Environments Partnership
- Henry Ford Health System – Generation with Promise
- JFM Consulting Group
- Keep Growing Detroit
- Michigan State University-Wayne County Extension
- Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance
- National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
- MOSES / Bioneers
- Osborn Neighborhood Alliance
- Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan
- The Youth Connection
- Warren-Conner Development Coalition
- Wayne State University, Seed Wayne
- YMCA of Metro Detroit