Fresh Beginnings leverages high-impact partnerships to promote food access, healthy eating, and active lifestyles in North and Old South Baton Rouge. In August 2012, the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative was awarded a $1 million grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation's Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Grant Program. Together with a $1.2 million match, the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative brought together community partners to start the Fresh Beginnings project. Though the grant period ended in the fall of 2015, the Fresh Beginnings project started many community initiatives that continue today, including the Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market, the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, and Project Fit America in local schools.
Fresh Beginnings focuses on North Baton Rouge ZIP codes including: 70805, 70807, and part of 70802 comprising close to 61,000 people.
- Increase the geographic availability of fresh/healthy foods in North Baton Rouge
- Create a Community Coalition of public/ private sector organizations and community members that submits a plan of action to bring sustainable solutions to tackling the North Baton Rouge food desert
- Increase the amount of physical activity in Physical Education Programs in Schools and give students, teachers and parents the resources they need to learn about physical fitness, nutrition, and self-esteem