Healthy Food for Healthy Neighborhoods

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has renewed a five-year, $5.3 million grant for the Prevention Research Center (PRC) at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The grant will support new research, communications and advocacy aimed at improving access to healthy foods in New Orleans-area neighborhoods.

"Improving healthy food access is critical to improving the vitality of communities," says Diego Rose, director of the Prevention Research Center at Tulane.

The PRC is a research and policy organization that focuses on the impact that the physical and social environments have on obesity and public health within the New Orleans community.

The grant is part of national funding for a network of 35 centers across the country conducting research in disease prevention and control.

"Improving healthy food access is critical to improving the vitality of communities," said Diego Rose, director of the center and associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Tulane. "We are extremely excited to work with our community partners to have a positive impact on the neighborhood food environment in New Orleans."

In addition, the center was awarded three Special Interest Projects totaling $254,483. These projects will enable the Tulane PRC to be a Collaborating Center in two different policy research networks, one focused on nutrition and the other focused on physical activity. A third Special Interest Project will fund a tobacco cessation program for pregnant women in Argentina and Uruguay.

This is the third time the center has received the grant, which is renewable every five years. The PRC's core research project under the previous grant cycle was Partnership for an Active Community Environment (PACE), which focused on the St. Roch/St. Claude community.

PACE assessed the impact of including a walking path on the St. Roch Avenue neutral ground and adding staff to keep the playground at Drew Elementary School open after school hours. Five community members received grants to fund neighborhood improvement projects.