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Organizations honored for promoting healthy communities

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Taking Neighborhood Health to Heart, J Street Food Truck and We Don’t Waste were given Healthy Communities Awards by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment.

Launched in 2015, the Healthy Community Awards recognize individuals and public, private and community organizations that work to promote public health and environment sustainability.

Thirty-four nominations were received for the categories of Innovation, Compliance and Good Neighbor, and a panel of experts in public health, sustainability and related areas reviewed and scored the nominations.

Taking Neighborhood Health to Heart was the winner in the Innovation category, which recognizes individuals and organizations that employ innovative strategies, processes, or technologies to improve public health and/or the environment in Denver.

Taking Neighborhood Health to Heart is a community-based organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of residents in northeast Denver, according to a news release. The organization has spent more than 10 years engaging residents, University of Colorado researchers, and neighborhood businesses and organizations in community-based public health efforts in the East Montclair, Northeast Park Hill, Northwest Aurora, Park Hill and Stapleton neighborhoods. TNH2H efforts have focused on cardiovascular health, childhood obesity, healthy food access, senior social connectedness, indoor air quality and environmental health.

J Street Food Truck was the honoree in the Compliance category, designed to encourage, recognize and reward local individuals, companies, and nonprofit organizations that have consistently met or exceeded applicable standards established through recognized best practices, regulation or certification.

J Street uses a multi-pronged approach to ensure long-term compliance, protect the public’s health, and exceed health standards, a news release states. This includes continuous employee training, enforcement of standard operating procedures, the promotion of health standards throughout all operations, and participation in the Partners in Food Safety program. This high level of compliance starts with the chef, whose “work clean” motto encourages staff to work cleanly from start to finish.

We Don’t Waste was the winner of the Good Neighbor award, which recognizes individuals and organizations that have a longstanding commitment to protecting and/or improving the environment in Denver (clean air, land, and water), or promoting healthy people through improved access to healthy food, healthy built environments, or promoting healthy pets through activities at the animal shelter or in the community at-large.

We Don’t Waste was founded in 2009 to help feed the thousands of people in the Denver metro area struggling with hunger and to reduce the amount of food waste entering landfills, a new release says. Today, We Don’t Waste operates an 11,570 square-foot food rescue and distribution center and uses a fleet of three refrigerated trucks to pick up and deliver high-quality food throughout Denver and the Front Range. The organization provided more 30 million servings of food (equal to more than 10 million meals) in 2017 to community members struggling with food insecurity.

For information about the Denver Healthy Communities Awards, go to www.denvergov.org/HCAwards.

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