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Crawl-Walk-Run Action Steps

Most articles on Better the Future conclude with actionable steps readers can take. While some of us may be ready to take off running right away, others may need time to learn to crawl. We come from different backgrounds and have differing motivations for wanting to influence change to our food culture. We hope somewhere within these steps everyone can find a comfortable place to begin.

Crawl steps are designed to make you stop and consider an idea, to think about why our culture is structured the way it is or to notice how food culture influences your daily life.

Walk steps move beyond thinking and discovering for yourself to begin to influencing the people closest to you, like family, friends and coworkers. Most people will find these manageable with few resources or outside help.

Run steps move beyond the comfort zone of our close social circles to influence the community in which we live, work and play. These often require the support of others, and work on a broader level.

Support farm to school programs

Offer your support to local community-based organizations, like Rogue Valley Farm to School, that are doing incredible work to support a healthier world for kids. If you live in the area, consider volunteering with Rogue Valley Farm to School to help support their various programs. Don’t live nearby? Visit their Support Us page for more ideas on how you can support their work and mission!   

Share your excess urban produce

Have a fruit tree in your yard or in your community with excess produce? Portland Fruit Tree Project has resources for learning how to harvest yourself! The produce can then be brought to the public-access Fruit Fridge for distribution to community organizations based on needs/wants. If you’re not in a position to be able to harvest the produce yourself, Portland Fruit Tree Project can help for a sliding scale fee.  

Learn more

Read more about the developmental origins of chronic disease to get a better understanding of how chronic disease risk begins.


If you have the means, donate supplies or volunteer time to a mutual aid network in your community.

Find a Veggie Rx near you

Find a Veggie Rx program in your area. Make a call or send an email to find out how you can participate as a recipient or a volunteer. 

Volunteer at a local farm

Lots of local farms love for  community members to spend time getting their hands dirty and sharing their passion for growing healthy food.

Improve offerings in school vending machines

Find out if your local school district has a contract with a vending machine provider. If so, what is sold in the vending machines? Where do the profits go? Research methods schools have used to include healthier snacks, like flavored water and nuts, in vending machines. Bring these ideas to your next school district meeting, and see if a group can be put together to approach the vendor.

Let your voice be heard

Call your legislators to let them know why you oppose drastic cuts to the SNAP program. You can find out who your congressional representatives are and how to contact them here. To find out who your senators are and how to contact them, check here.

Get kids in the kitchen

Adolescent kids at home? Get them in the kitchen! Make sure your kids or grandkids know basic kitchen skills and how to cook simple healthy meals before they leave home. It will set them up for a lifetime of good health, and make them a sought after roommate!

Implement a healthy meetings policy

Is the break room at your place of employment filled with cookies and donuts? Do meetings over mealtime tend toward greasy pizza and soda? Work with your coworkers to implement a  healthy meetings policy. Start small by gradually introducing healthier options like fruit and scale-up from there.

Talk to your health care provider

The next time you see your health care provider, ask what she/he thinks about the dietary guidelines and what you can do to incorporate them into your family’s diets.

Make a resolution to cook with more whole foods

Changing eating habits can be a daunting task. Start small by committing to cook one meal a week using only whole foods. Already meet this goal? Then try going a whole day eating and cooking with only whole foods.