Communities in California have found that the key to successful community change that improves health equity is ensuring that community residents' voices are heard and help shape the goals and strategies of the change efforts. This means that those community members who suffer most from the problem must be engaged in the process. For example, the Santa Clara County public health department, part of the California Department of Public Health's Communities of Excellence (CX3) project, involved neighborhood moms to document conditions through CX3 GIS mapping and survey work. After documenting their neighborhood as a food desert, the moms fought to open a farmers' market in the neighborhood, and they continue efforts to bring in a full-service grocery store.

Learn more: Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Neighborhood Nutrition in Focus [pdf]