Coalition FAQs

1. What is a Coalition and how does it work?

In simplest terms, a coalition is a group of individuals and/or organizations with a common interest who agree to work together toward a common goal. Community problems or issues are often too large and complex for any one agency or organization to successfully address. In those circumstances, putting together a coalition of groups and individuals can be an effective strategy for maximizing each coalition member’s unique awareness of resources and perspectives to get everyone moving the same direction.

2. What other local Food Policy coalitions are funded by CHNA17*?

Belmont Food Collaborative, Inc.

Cambridge Food and Fitness Policy Council

Live Well Watertown

Shape Up Somerville

*Community Health Network Area 17 (CHNA17) serves the communities of Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Somerville, Waltham, and Watertown and is one of 27 CHNAs in Massachusetts. The CHNA initiative was established in 1992 under the direction of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Healthy Communities. The CHNA is a coalition made up of representatives from public, non-profit and private sectors. CHNA 17 includes a group of individuals and organizations from all of the 6 member communities who meet to think together about how to make our communities healthier, and to share resources.

CHNA17’s mission is to promote healthier people and healthier communities by providing a forum to identify, prioritize, collaborate, design and track local and regional health promotion strategies and to tell the stories of lessons learned.

3. What are some of the policies affecting me and my family with regard to health and wellness?

City of Waltham Complete Streets Policy

4. Where can I learn more about resources on local and regional food policies?

The Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program

Massachusetts Food Policy Council

On November 7, 2010, the MA Food Policy Council was effective, enacted as Chapter 277 of the Acts of 2010, “An Act establishing the Massachusetts food policy council,” Statute M.G.L. c.20, Section 6C, creating the 17-member Food Policy Council (“FPC”)

MA Food Policy Council Alliance (MFPCA)

MFPCA’s mission is to bring together diverse stakeholders across the food system, from farmers to consumers, to create a sustainable, systemic, effective and inclusive food policy for Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Food System Plan

The Massachusetts Food System Plan will establish a vision for a food system that is socially just, environmentally resilient, and ripe with economic opportunities.

Growing Food Connections Policy Database

New England Food Vision

The New England Food Vision is a collaborative report that considers the future of our region: a future in which food nourishes a social, economic and environmental landscape that supports a high quality of life for everyone, including generations to come.

5. How can I get more information about the Waltham Healthy Food Access Coalition? How can I or my organization become a member?

For more information or to become involved in the WHFAC, contact Reva Haselkorn, Chef Instructor and Program Coordinator for Healthy Waltham, at

6. How can I start a food policy coalition in my community?

Resources on Organizing Coalitions:

Organizing for Power, Organizing for Change