Healthy Food Systems

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation funded eight grantee partnerships in North Carolina to improve food systems in order to increase access to healthy, local food in their communities. Healthy Places by Design (then Active Living By Design) provided resources and support to these partnerships, which focused on rural areas or low-income communities in urban areas of the state.


  • Conducted ongoing site visits and needs assessments to ensure the learning network activities meet the needs of the overall grantee portfolio.
  • Lead the development and implementation of annual two-day learning network convenings to provide technical assistance in relevant content areas (like communications and sustainability) as well as opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and networking.
  • Connecting individual grantee partnerships with experts and resources that are part of Healthy Places by Designs’s broad network (e.g., the American Planning Association and other professional organizations and other communities with demonstrated success in specific food systems strategies).

Funding Partner: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation

Engagement: 2012–2014

Services Provided:

  • Grantee learning network design and management
  • Convenings and training events
  • Tool and resource sharing
  • Field building with local, state, and national partners
“[Healthy Places by Design] led the technical assistance on our Fit Together grant program and is now leading our learning network of food systems grantees. Their knowledge, professionalism, and expertise are unparalleled.”

Kathy Higgins, President
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation