Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

How Lasting Change Happens: From Food Pantries to Policies

Friday, November 7, 2014

Creating enduring change has proven a challenge for countless communities nationwide. Children’s First Executive Director Allison Jordan from 2014 RWJF Culture of Health Prize community, Buncombe County, NC, joined County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program staff to share how an emphasis on advocacy brought desired change to her community.

Buncombe County recognized the importance and necessity of systematic and sustainable change in their community. While programs certainly provide immediate services and resources for participants, advocacy for policy and systems change can affect an even greater constituency.

To complement strong programming, a strategy rooted in advocacy has several benefits:

  • Opportunity to increase and engage community champions
  • Increased opportunities for coalition building around advocacy issues
  • The broader the coalition, the greater the possibilities for fostering lasting change

Programs and policy advocacy are partners in generating social change, and a balance between the two must be maintained. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Be intentional with integration of advocacy and programming
  • Make the balance of advocacy and programming a priority
  • Be non-partisan in handling both elements


For more on Buncombe County’s Prize winning efforts, click here.

To learn about Children’s First, click here.

To view the webinar, click here.