Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition

Updated:Apr 18,2016

Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition

Welcome to the Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition website.


Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition (MHK) was established in 2007 by the American Heart Association to mobilize advocacy efforts around priority state policies to address childhood obesity.  Since then, MHK has grown into a diverse group of statewide partners that include 25 member organizations. Our mission is to promote healthy eating and increase physical activity to improve health and reduce obesity among Minnesota’s children through policy change.
Download information about the Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition (PDF).


Check out our interactive map of Minnesota that shows funded and unfunded pedestrian and bicycle projects in the state.  See the statewide interest in creating safe options for walkers and bicyclists as well as projects that have stalled due to lack of funding.

Learn about our Active Transportation Poll which found that a significant majority of Minnesotans favor including additional funding for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in road and public transportation funding proposals.

2015 Policy Wins at the Minnesota Legislature:
  •  Maintained $35M in base funding for a statewide, long-term, sustainable Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) to support local strategies to improve healthy eating, increase physical activity, and reduce tobacco use
  •  Maintained $500,000 for MnDOT’s base budget to fund planning and assistance grants for Minnesota’s Safe Routes to School program
  •  Supported passage of $325,000 in base funding for the Healthy Eating, Here at Home bill to provide SNAP participants incentives for purchasing healthy food at farmers markets.
  •  Bill to strengthen PE in Minnesota schools by requiring grade appropriate curriculum benchmarks passed several committees, but was not included in final omnibus education bill
  •  Supported passage of a base appropriation for the Farm to Food Shelf program established during the 2014 legislative session to provide incentives for agricultural producers and processors to donate fresh produce and agricultural commodities for the 2018-19 biennium
Download the 2015 Legislative Wrap Up (PDF)

2016 Policy Agenda
  • Safe Routes to School: Support a $6 million investment in safe routes to school infrastructure in the capital investment/bonding bill.
  • Active Transportation: Support a statewide comprehensive multi-modal transportation package that includes significant new funding for active transportation. 
  • Strengthen Physical Education: Support strengthening PE in Minnesota schools by requiring grade appropriate curriculum benchmarks and evaluating. 
  • Healthy Food Access: Support $10 million/year in loans and grants through the MN Dept. of Agriculture to create and fund the Good Food Access Fund to increase access to healthy foods in Minnesota communities.
  • School Nutrition:  Support expanding free breakfast, and provide additional funding reimbursement for the school lunch program.
  • Statewide Health Improvement Program funding: Maintain $35M in base funding for a statewide, long-term, sustainable SHIP program.
  • Farm to School:  Maintain Farm to School success within the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation Program (AGRI).
  • Breastfeeding policy: Support licensure of trained lactation providers to improve access, reimbursement and quality of lactation services statewide and in underserved populations. 

Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition partners include:

  •  Allina Health
  • Minneapolis Health Department
  • American Cancer Society - Cancer Action Network
  • Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND)
  • American Heart Association
  • Minnesota Alliance of YMCA's
  • BLEND CentraCare Health Foundation
  • Minnesota Cancer Alliance
  • Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Minnesota School Nutrition Association
  • HealthPartners
  • Minnesota Public Health Association
  • Local Public Health Association of Minnesota
  • Youth Determined to Succeed

Additional Resources:
  • Learn more about childhood obesity in the Childhood Obesity Sourcebook. Understanding Childhood Obesity is an American Heart Association sourcebook on child nutrition and physical activity. Both the full and condensed downloadable PDF versions are an update of the 2005 version, A Nation At Risk. It’s a great resource for media, policymakers, health professionals, school officials and other stakeholders to begin meaningful dialogue toward concrete solutions to the obesity epidemic.
  • Check out American Heart Association’s advocacy fact sheet on obesity and cardiovascular disease.
  • The Program in Health Disparities Research, housed within the University of Minnesota Medical School, is working on solutions to eliminate health inequalities. Check out their childhood obesity prevention project site. As part of their “Using Obesity Research to Shape State Policy” study, they released Resources for Decision Makers, a list of experts and collection of fact sheets designed to help state agencies, health advocates and legislators/staff translate obesity research into state policy.