How to Encourage SNAP Participants to Eat Healthier



Since its inception, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has become the most important anti-hunger program in the United States. The program has helped benefit millions of low-income Latino families out of poverty and support them by providing an “adequate diet.” Overall, Latinos have a higher poverty rate than the national average. According to a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2016, nearly 1 in 5 Latinos (21% overall) lived below the federal poverty line. This compares to the national average of 1 in 7 people. Latino households are also more likely to experience food insecurity on a regular basis compared to the national average. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees SNAP benefits, recently announced awards of nearly $17 million to ...

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Sad Irony: Farmworkers Less Likely to Use Food Benefits


Latino farm boy in poverty and food insecurity

Farmworkers labor and toil long hours to put food on people's tables. But, in a cruel twist, many aren't accessing the food benefits they need—and are eligible for—to feed their own families, according to a new study. In fact, farmworkers who were Latino immigrants or even Latino citizens were 30% less likely to participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), compared to non-Latino white citizen farmworkers with the same need and eligibility, according to research led by UC Davis health economists. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, aims to reduce hunger and stimulate spending. "The study undercuts the common assumption that immigrant crop workers, especially Hispanic crop workers, utilize SNAP more than others," according to a press release. ...

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Latino Immigrant Families Often Forego Health Care Services



For many immigrant families, the current political climate adds a great deal of stress to their lives. Many Latinos already face inequities in health care; they are still the largest uninsured population in the U.S. In South Carolina (5.2% Latino population), this stress is now manifesting in even harsher ways. According to a report in The Post and Courier, many immigrant families in the state are not only foregoing health care services for the adult family members, but also their children. “We’ve gotten calls from the health department of mothers not coming to ... appointments, not showing up for immunizations,” said Julie Smithwick, executive director of the Latino assistance group PASOs. The statewide group connects Latino patients to health care resources across South ...

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New Ban on Soda for EBT Card Holders Is in Discussion



Soda's, sweet teas, energy drinks, and sugary beverages of all types have been the uproar of news lately as many cities across the nation are considering sugary beverage taxes to reduce high rates of type 2 diabetes, obesity and other related diseases. Now lawmakers in various states including Tennesse, Florida, and Michigan are considering a ban on soda for all purchasers who want to use food stamps or state-issued Bridge Electronic Bank Transfer (EBT) cards. Even Arkansas introduced a similar bill last year, where EBT users would not be allowed to purchase foods that have "sufficient nutritional value". The bill was passed but is now waiting for the votes from the Senate, according to local 5 News online. These bans would not allow any EBT card user from being able to purchase ...

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Arkansas House of Representatives Passed Bill Aligning Food Stamps With Other Health Initiatives


Latino Health WIC SNAP policy sugary drinks

Obesity rates in Arkansas (7.2% Latino) have been on the rise. Excessively sugary foods and drinks increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, and other chronic diseases. According to our research review, Latinos and people living in poverty are more likely to consume excessively sugary foods and drinks. To address poor nutrition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has modified the nutrition standards for nearly all of its federal food programs to align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, except for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Arkansas Lawmakers proposed House Bill 1035 during the 2017 legislative session that would limit SNAP to foods that have "sufficient nutritional value." The Arkansas Department of Health ...

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Obesity Rates for Toddlers in Low-Income Families Have Dropped



Childhood obesity is one of the leading health concerns plaguing the Latino community. New research shows from several federal agencies show that obesity among toddlers from low-income families is declining. New research from several federal agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports. However, despite the decline, the prevalence of obesity for low-income toddlers is 14.5%. This number far exceeds the national average. “Continued initiatives to work with parents and other stakeholders to promote healthy pregnancies, breastfeeding, quality nutrition, and physical activity for young children in multiple settings are needed to ensure healthy child development,” according to the authors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department ...

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Obesity Rates for Children on WIC Decline



A recent report from the Food and Nutrition Services found that obesity rates among children on WIC have continued to decline. The number of one-year-olds in WIC who are at or above the 97th percentile for weight compared to length decreased from 12% in 2010 to 10.2% in 2014. In addition, the report states that the proportion of children ages 2-4 who were considered obese decreased from 14.6% to 13.7%. Childhood obesity is a serious problem among the Latino community. One in four U.S. kids are already overweight or obese by age 2-5, with a higher rate among Latino kids (30%) than white kids (21%). Latinos comprise 32% of all WIC users and nearly 50% of all Latino children in the United States are served by WIC. Making the positive connection between nutrition and health, the ...

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Barriers and Contributors to Breastfeeding in WIC Mothers: A Social Ecological Perspective



The Barriers and Contributions to Breastfeeding in WIC Mothers: A Social Ecological Perspective study used the social ecological model to assess positive and negative factors that influence breastfeeding initiation and duration in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants in New Hampshire. Previous research has shown that Latino mothers have lower breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. In order to increase Latino mothers initiation rates and reduce Latino childhood obesity, it is important to understand interpersonal, social, and environmental factors that influence mother's breastfeeding initiation and duration, especially in programs that focus on mother and infant nutrition. Access this article here. Share on ...

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Review of WIC Food Packages: Chap 2: The WIC Participant Experience



Chapter 2: The WIC Participant Experience, in the second in a series of three reports on the Review of WIC Food Packages, summarizes evidence of complex behavioral and environmental factors that influence participation in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and redemption of WIC foods. Research suggests cultural variation in infant and child feeding practices, which may affect participation in WIC and redemption of WIC benefits. For example, Latinos have lower breastfeeding prevalence than Whites and Asians. Additionally, one study in Maryland found that Latinos preferred beans over peanut butter and they disliked frozen and canned vegetables. Cultural variations, like these, as well as administrative barriers, affect Latino mother's and ...

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Farmers’ Market is Growing in Tyler, TX



The local farmers' market in Tyler, TX is expanding! The 21% Latino east Texas town now has 2 farmers' markets, one on Tuesdays and another on Saturdays, both from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Rose City Farmers' Market was started by Tyler's Food and Farm Coalition. The market’s director, Carmen Sosa, has been working to connect farmers to the community to not only stimulate the farming economy but also to offer fresh, local food. Many residents in the area don't have easy access to grocery stores, limiting their healthy food options. But farmers' markets are a viable alternative. According to an article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the market accepts SNAP benefit cards and participates in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which gives $30 ...

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