Energized Youth Work to Add Healthier Dining Choices in Watsonville, Calif.



“It’s hard to engage the average youth in something where there is no choice.” That’s what Kymberly Lacrosse, a community organizer for the United Way of Santa Cruz County, Calif., said about the limited healthy food options in Watsonville. A multitude of unhealthy snacks, greasy fast food, and sugary drink options leave little room for other, healthier choices. Lacrosse mentors the youth involved in Jóvenes SANOS, a youth advocacy and leadership group working to prevent and raise awareness about childhood obesity in Watsonville. With almost half of children in the city overweight or obese, the youth of Jóvenes SANOS knew they had to help their small city get healthier. They eventually pushed for improved neighborhood food/dining options. EMERGENCE Awareness: In ...

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Youth in Santa Cruz County Swap Junk for Health at City Facilities



What are you eating for lunch? Chances are your decision is based in part by where you and what’s available to you. In many cities around the country, when stomachs start growling, the quickest, easiest choice is fast food. Why is the easiest choice often the unhealthiest? What can a community do to get a few healthier options? In Santa Cruz County, California, a youth advocacy and leadership group called Jóvenes SANOS was concerned about the health of their community. They knew that their neighborhood needed to incorporate more healthy food options into daily life. EMERGENCE Awareness: Hispanics comprise about 81% of the 50,000 people who live in Watsonville, Calif., which is situated in Santa Cruz County. Jóvenes SANOS, a youth advocacy group seeking to increase opportunities ...

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