Key Points

· Poor diet and physical inactivity have been estimated to account for nearly 400,000 deaths a year in the U.S. and are contributing factors to obesity. Nearly one-third of children and two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. Therefore, in early 2007 Health Foundation of South Florida (HFSF) embarked on a five-year responsive grantmaking initiative, Healthy Eating Active Communities.

· The initiative's aim was to improve healthy eating habits and physical activity levels through two major approaches: individual-level programs grounded in an educational approach and organizational, environmental, policy, and systems-change interventions. As additional research has emerged in the field, policies and practices that create supportive environments and healthier communities have been a major focal point of this initiative.

· The project adopted a multisector orientation and expanded its partners beyond traditional healthrelated organizations. Moreover, several grantee organizations were funded to implement evidenced- based approaches targeting nutrition and physical activity in children and adults. As program evaluator for the initiative, Research & Evaluation Network (REN) collaborated with HFSF to develop the project logic model, guide the development of the evaluation plan, and evaluate the outcomes associated with the grantees' programs.

· This article provides a detailed overview of the initiative and documents the collaborative process that the foundation, evaluator, and grantees undertook to initiate and maintain this effort. It provides an example of the potential for partnerships to facilitate effective program implementation in this area, utilize practical program evaluation, and promote program growth and sustainability.

Open Access