Category Archives: Stakeholders

Earn Food Bucks for more food at local Farmers Markets

The Food Trust’s Food Bucks program, in partnership with Just Harvest and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, gives shoppers $2 in food bucks coupons for every $5 spent in food stamps. Launched in 2010, and originally only available in Philadelphia, this healthy food incentive program has expanded to a statewide initiative, with a focus on the Pittsburgh region and western Pennsylvania. The Food Bucks program is offered in over 50 retail settings, including farmers markets, mobile markets, corner stores and supermarkets.

The Food Bucks program allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as food stamps, benefit holders to stretch their budgets to include fresh, healthy, and local fruits and vegetables.

Visit The Food Trust to explore a map to see where, when and how you can earn Food Bucks to purchase fruits and vegetables, and watch the video below to learn more about the Food Bucks program.

Farmers markets, corner stores, supermarkets or other retailers serving SNAP-eligible populations can apply to distribute Food Bucks by contacting Emily Schmidlapp at or 215-575-0444, ext. 5178.

A to B: Transportation Options

According to the American Public Transportation Association, people use some form of public transportation 34 million times each weekday in the U.S. In Allegheny County, there are many options for transportation; however, navigating those options can be hard. A to B is an online tool designed to help riders find inclusive and accessible transportation options that meet their personal preferences, abilities, and needs. Developed by transportation providers and advocates in the Transportation Working Group, including Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh a Live Well Allegheny community partner, the tool currently includes 28 options from 20 transportation providers.

A to B is free, voluntary, and anonymous. To use A to B, visit, answer a short survey of questions, and get matched to possible transportation options. The questionnaire takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Users should be sure to answer all applicable questions to receive the best results. A to B will not map specific trips, but rather find the best connection to options for riders.

If you have questions about A to B or would like help using the tool, call (412) 562-5104 (TTY 711), Monday-Friday from 8AM to 5PM or leave a message after hours. Transportation providers can also call this number to be listed in the tool.

We’re excited about the addition of this tool in our region. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified that access to transportation supports health and reduces healthcare costs. Ensuring that all residents of Allegheny County can get from point A to point B can have a profound positive impact on health and wellness.

Learn more about this topic and the A to B Tool with these resources:,leave%20a%20message%20after%20hours.

Pittsburgh organizations attend Farm to Cafeteria Conference, learn ways to add locally-grown food to school meals

It’s Back-to-School season. The season tends to bring thoughts of new clothes, fresh pencils, cute bookbags and jam-packed schedules. For some people, however, back-to-school involves taking steps to safeguard children’s health by focused on immunizations and handwashing. At Live Well Allegheny, we believe it’s just as important to consider nutrition and nutrition in school meals as ways to improve our community’s health.

Recently, eight school food advocates from Pittsburgh attended the 2018 Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Representatives from Pittsburgh Public Schools, Deer Lakes School District, Mt. Lebanon School District, Woodland Hills School District, University of Pittsburgh, Grow Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council learned more about best practices to incorporate food grown and produced locally into school meals. We’re proud to say that these individuals are also part of four Live Well Allegheny school districts, one Live Well Allegheny workplace, and two Live Well Allegheny community partners.

Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, the conference brought together leaders and changemakers in farm to school procurement, school gardens, sustainability, and purchasing regulation. Farm to cafeteria is part of the farm to school movement which seeks to build connections between communities and locally-grown food and local food producers. Farm to school encourages changes in food purchasing and education to improve access to healthy foods, and to empower children to make informed food choices. The conference also included keynote speakers and a myriad of workshops covering topics including equity and access in school gardens, using food service guidelines to create healthy food environments, and methods of engaging state Agriculture departments.

Building on knowledge gleaned from the conference, local organizations hope to encourage more farm to school initiatives in Pittsburgh. The school representatives plan to implement more farm to school by increasing education among parents and students, measuring and communicating impact, implementing procurement changes, and incorporating garden and food production in the classroom.

Following the conference, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service announced Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), in partnership with Grow Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, is a recipient of the USDA Farm to School grant award. The grant provides $5.2 million in awards to bring nutritious, local food into schools and bolster economic opportunities for farmers. PPS is one of two schools in Pennsylvania to receive the award. The grant funds will be utilized for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years to strengthen and standardized farm to school initiatives throughout the district. Grow Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council will engage local growers to provide produce in schools, and collaborate with community members to increase awareness and support for the farm to school movement.

Live Well Allegheny Recieves 2-Yr. Richard King Mellon Grant

Funding Extends Initiatives to Improve the Health of County Residents

Richard_King_Mellon_Foundation_logoThe Allegheny County Health Department announced today that it is has received an additional $1,500,000 two-year grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to continue its Live Well Allegheny efforts to enhance food access by eliminating food deserts and by expanding opportunities for physical activity through built environment changes. While Live Well Allegheny targets the entire County, this grant provides resources for a special emphasis on disadvantaged communities and builds on the success of a prior one-year grant.

“We are particularly excited about this grant because it represents three years of funding from the Richard King Mellon Foundation for our collective efforts to improve health of residents in Allegheny County,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “The projects that are funded as part of Live Well Allegheny are beginning to have a measurable impact and we look forward to continued work.”

Several stakeholders involved in the work will also receive funding as part of this project, including Allegheny County Economic Development, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Just Harvest, and the United Way of Allegheny County/fitUnited. RAND Health is helping with the evaluation.

Following are several of the accomplishments achieved with the first year of funding and plans for the next two years:

  • Allegheny County Economic Development Department launched the Active Allegheny Grant Program to provide financial assistance to communities to develop plans and design transportation projects that will, when implemented, increase residents’ opportunities for physical activity. To date, two projects have been funded and seven more applications have been received for review. This grant opportunity will be extended by two additional years to promote active transportation and the implementation of the Active Allegheny Plan.
  • Just Harvest expanded the Fresh Access Program to five additional farmer’s markets in 2015 and 2016, enabling people to use their SNAP and EBT benefits at farmer’s markets to purchase fruits and vegetables. Food stamp sales have soared by 80% in 2015 over the previous year. All Fresh Access markets also participate in the Food Bucks fresh produce incentive program adding even more buying power for low-income residents to get fresh fruit and vegetables with their food stamps. People can visit the newest Fresh Access markets in Wilkinsburg, West Homestead, Moon Township, Homewood and Sharpsburg.
  • Just Harvest launched the Fresh Corners Program to get corner stores in communities considered to be food deserts to sell healthier foods including fresh produce. So far, four stores have joined including Rocks Express, In-and-Out corner Market, a newly-opened market connected to 5 Generations Bakers in McKees Rocks and LA Grocery in the Larimer section of Pittsburgh. Moving forward, Just Harvest will continue to work with store owners, local government officials, community stakeholders and potential grocery start-ups to bring Fresh Corners to more areas of high need.
  • The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank launched the Green Grocer Program, a mobile farmers market that travels to food desert communities to provide the fresh food options. The Green Grocer is currently making stops every week in six different communities including North Oakland, the Northside, Clairton, Mt. Oliver/Knoxville, Homewood and Wilmerding. To date, there have been 1,859 sales transactions.
  • fitUnited expanded the Live Well Allegheny campaign through outreach to youth serving and corporate partners, raising $75,000 for increased physical activity and improved nutrition programs. Fifty-three fitUnited partners have joined the Live Well Allegheny While continuing to take the Live Well Allegheny message to day care centers across the county, fitUnited also has a large Day of Action planned on June 11 on the Northside, with an anticipated 200 volunteers.
  • The Allegheny County Health Department initiated the Allegheny Health Survey which is currently underway. It will provide data that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of current programs and determine areas in need of improvement to best meet the needs of county residents. It is expected to be completed later this summer.

Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more.

The initiative has expanded greatly since its inception. Today, there are 24 Live Well Allegheny Communities with 589,835 residents, six Live Well Allegheny Schools with an enrollment of 46,546 children and 24 Live Well Allegheny Restaurants. The addition of Live Well Allegheny Workplaces is underway, providing another opportunity for county residents to engage in a healthy lifestyle behaviors. All of the Live Well Allegheny accomplishments are documented in the recently released report which is available on the web site at the following link:

AGH Northside Partnership

Allegheny General Hospital Northside PartnershipThe First of it’s kind in the region, the groundbreaking AGH Northside Partnership Agreement provided a context in which a mutually beneficial relationship could grow between Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) and Pittsburgh’s Northside community, establishing a framework for a series of initiatives and common goals for housing; education and employment; economic development; and health of the communities.

Website: AGH Northside Partnership

Highmark Foundation

A Catalyst for Community Health

Highmark FoundationThe Highmark Foundation is a charitable organization, a private foundation and an affiliate of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. As a thought leader in public health and human service initiatives, the Foundation’s greatest success is uniting regional, national and global organizations with like missions to raise awareness and stimulate long-term and systemic change.

The Highmark Foundation serves the diverse communities served by Highmark Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. In addition, we serve the needs of individuals who live in more rural areas throughout these two states, where health care access and human services are limited or, sometimes, nonexistent.

Website: Highmark Foundation

Walk Pittsburgh

Our Mission:

walk pittsburghTo make Pittsburgh one of America’s most walkable cities.

Our Values: provides resources and support to encourage walking as a viable commuting option, improve pedestrian safety, communicate the health and economic benefits of walking, and ensure that walkability is factored into transportation and development plans.

Walk With Us!

Do you want to improve air quality and reduce congestion in Allegheny County? Are you looking for a fun and innovative way to get healthier while walking? Join us in this new initiative to help make Pittsburgh one of “America’s Most Walkable Cities”!

Your steps will be automatically uploaded from the Mobile App to the WalkPittsburgh website to get a grand total of steps taken by all participants.

Start by getting some extra steps in during your day with these simple tips:

  • For errands, instead of driving walk to the convenience store, grocery store, post office…etc.
  • Take a walking break from the computer while at work or at home
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park your car a little farther away and walk the extra distance
  • Get off the bus a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way
  • Take a walk during mornings or evenings at home or during a lunch break

Website: Walk Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Public Schools

pittsburgh public schoolsPittsburgh Public Schools offers a wide variety of educational options and offerings for our diverse student body. We aim to provide options that not only match our students’ passions and unique needs, but also help to prepare them for the real word through diverse experiences.

As the largest of 43 school districts in Allegheny County and second largest in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Public Schools serves approximately 25,000 students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 in 54 schools. In addition, Early Childhood programs serve 1,614 three and four year-olds in classrooms across the city.

We believe that every child—at every level of academic performance—can achieve excellence. To help our students get there, we are committed to continually improving performance at every level of the District. By doing so, we will help prepare our students to take maximum advantage of The Pittsburgh Promise® scholarship, and we will better prepare our District to thrive in an era of unprecedented competition.

At Pittsburgh Public Schools, we have all the right ingredients to help us tackle urban public education problems and to help our children succeed in a world where it’s increasingly important to have more than a high school diploma.

Website: Pittsburgh Public Schools

Adagio Health

Adagio HealthAdagio Health provides a full spectrum of high-quality women’s healthcare and education services to women, men and communities — regardless of age or insurance status — and delivers this care at locations and times convenient to the people it serves.

Website: Adagio Health

YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh provides programs to promote youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility

ymcaToday, the Y engages more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the U.S. As the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to helping people and communities to learn, grow and thrive, our contributions are both far-reaching and intimate—from influencing our nation’s culture during times of profound social change to the individual support we provide an adult learning to read.

Supporting and serving our neighbors, the Y ensures that everyone has the opportunity to become healthier, more confident, connected and secure.

Website: YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh