Project Goals

To increase physical activity and fruit-and-vegetable consumption. To decrease recreational screen time and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. To create an environment of healthy eating and active living by making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Project Description

Since 2009, HealthPartners has promoted fun and engaging messages about eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as getting more physical activity. Their original yumPower initiative strived to create a social movement around eating better. That program has now evolved and expanded into PowerUp, which covers both diet and exercise.

PowerUp has a special focus on kids and families because childhood overweight and obesity tripled in the past 30 years and remains a critical issue for the future of children’s health. Research shows that today, kids are expected to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents for the first time.  Research also shows that it takes a multi-level approach, including schools, organizations and the entire community working together to change these trends. PowerUp has a four level approach:

  1. Programs and partnershipswith schools, food shelves, parks, faith communities and more (School Challenge, SuperShelf, WinterWarm Up Challenge, PowerUp in the Parks, Teen Leadership Programs)
  2. Outreach and educationthrough classes, events, social media, newsletter and more (PowerUp Press, Kids Cooking Classes, outreach events, PowerUp Ambassadors)
  3. Influencing community norms around food and physical activity by supporting school wellness policies and guides for concessions, school wellness policy, vending, food shelves and more.
  4. Resourcesfor clinics, patients and health plan members

Key programs and resources include:

School Challenge. Now in its 10th year, this program has reached more than 20,000 elementary age students each year to encourage trying for five fruits and vegetables and adding physical activity. In 2021, the program is now available to all schools through an online program that can be delivered in person, or in hybrid or online learning platforms. The program includes videos, resources, and teacher lesson plans, all available at no charge to schools. The program also aligns with MN State Standards for Health Education.

In addition, PowerUp School Challenge has resources for school administrators to create healthy environmental changes that will impact students in the long-run. The School Change Survey and Toolkit helps school assess their current practices around physical activity and nutrition and promotes healthy strategies in all the places our children live, learn and play. It contains some of the most effective school-based strategies to help all kids eat well and be active. HealthPartners staff discuss the survey with schools to help create a plan for improving the school food and physical activity environment.

PowerUp in the Parks. In a unique partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, HealthPartners PowerUp developed the PowerUp in the Parks Passport to make it easy for families to access parks and trails for outdoor activity and recreation. This innovative program was recognized with the Minnesota Government Award in 2018 for its partnership to improve access to parks and the health of Minnesotans.

PowerUp Teen Leadership Council and Ambassadors.

Worksite ToolkitHealthPartners developed a toolkit to help provide easy, turnkey resources that the community can use to make positive change in the food environment. The toolkit provides resources to assess and implement change, including resources on getting commitment and support, creating policies, guidelines and recommendations, vendor tips and communication, environmental change strategies, pricing strategies, and employee resources. The toolkit and all resources are free to access and use by the community HealthPartners has worked with school districts on health and wellness policy, concessions and healthy event foods. HealthPartners also created several vending selection improvement change programs that are implemented across our locations, as well as within HealthPartners’ insured employers. : https://www.healthpartners.com/employer-public/home/toolkits/yumpower/

Entities Involved

Lakeview Hospital, HealthPartners Institute, Washington County Public Health, St. Croix County Public Health, Stillwater Area Public Schools, Local business, Community members

How Health Plans Support the Project

HealthPartners engages members, patients and the community through social media content, health education information and on-the-ground programs for employers, the community and schools across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. 

Additional Information


Marna Canterbury, Director of Community Health and Well-being