Childhood Obesity Prevention & Advocacy Program (COPA)

Childhood Obesity Prevention & Advocacy Program (COPA)

One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the food and physical activity environments of a neighborhood while also improving the nutrition and exercise habits of entire families. Established in 2007, the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Childhood Obesity Prevention and Advocacy (COPA) Program is aiming to do just that.

The COPA Program and activities are currently focused on:

· The North Long Beach HEAL Zone Initiative

· The Long Beach Neighborhood Store Partnership (a healthy corner store project)

· The Starr King Elementary School Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Parent Group

· The Jordan High School AIMS Youth Leader Program


What is the North Long Beach HEAL Zone Initiative?

The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services recently received a $1 million 3-year Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Zone initiative grant from Kaiser Permanente to promote the public's health in targeted areas of North Long Beach. The Health Department has been granted the funds as the coordinating agency of the Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach, an alliance of community groups focused on improving health for all residents in North Long Beach.

The HEAL Zones are designed to help make healthy choices accessible to more people in underserved communities - and in turn to prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease that often result from obesity. The overall vision of the HEAL Zone initiative is to support people to eat better and move more as part of daily life.

The Coalition for a Healthy North Long Beach meets monthly and work groups focused on specific HEAL Zone strategies meet on an as needed basis. To learn more or get involved in the Coalition, please contact Shawna Stevens at or (562) 570-7901.

What is a healthy corner store project?

A healthy corner store project is a newer approach to addressing obesity at the community level. Health departments, community based organizations and community based organizations and community members work with local retailers to advocate for and make positive, healthier changes in small neighborhood stores. The COPA Program created the Long Beach Neighborhood Store Partnership (LBNSP) in 2009 and is currently working with five neighborhood corner stores. LBNSP project activities include:
  • Labeling food and beverage items as "Healthier Options" to assist customers in finding the better choices.
  • Assisting the stores to stock new healthier food and beverage products.
  • Providing outreach and nutrition education to promote the healthier products and improve their sales.

English LBNSP Flyer Informacion de LBNSP en Espanol

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Check out our recent article on "Healthy Options at L.A. Corner Stores":

Who is the Starr King Elementary HEAL Parent Group?

The Starr King Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) parent group meets on a monthly basis to discuss ways to increase school and community nutrition awareness to prevent childhood obesity and promote wellness. They host a weekly walking club that walks the perimeter of the school, are actively involved in their neighborhood cleanup gatherings, and help coordinate a yearly Family Health and Fitness Fair at the school.

What is the Jordan High School AIMS Youth Leader Program?

Youth Leaders are students hired from Jordan High School who are part of the AIMS Program (Aspirations in Medical Services). The Youth Leaders support the DHHS healthy corner store project by providing nutrition education and outreach at the stores, assisting with food demonstrations, performing customer surveys, and participating at Health Fairs by hosting information tables.


Program Coordinator Assistant Coordinator

Shawna Stevens Annabel Barajas
(562) 570-7901 (562) 570-7903

Program Assistant

Melina Castelan

(562) 570-7903


DHHS Healthy Active Long Beach

DHHS WIC Program

Cal Fresh Program (formerly Food Stamp Program)

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My Plate

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Nutrition and Fitness