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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Closer to My Grocer

In February 2015, legislation was introduced in the Texas House and Senate that would create a Texas Grocery Access Investment program. This investment would bring grocery stores to communities where it is difficult to buy fresh and healthy food, help families be healthier and fight obesity, and ultimately drive down the costs associated with unhealthy living. Supporters say the legislation would support business and create jobs. The Texas Grocery Access Investment Fund is a grant and loan program to bring new grocery stores to underserved communities, as well as support renovation and expansion of existing stores to ensure access to fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, poultry and seafood products. The program would run out of the Texas Department of Agriculture and would ...

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Farm to School Bill Moves Forward in Colorado

healthier school snacks

Farm to School programs are great ways to introduce kids to fresh fruits and veggies at a young age. Advocacy groups across the country are supporting state and local bills that would designate resources from the legislative budget to ensure these programs start strong, stay strong and reach children in every neighborhood. In Colorado, Farm to School advocates were thrilled this week to learn that their Farm to School bill, HB15-1088: "Interagency Farm-to-School Grant Program," had passed out of the House Education Committee and will now advance to the House Appropriations Committee! A news update from Healthier Colorado, a health advocacy nonprofit, said that committee members were excited about the bill, and they cited the fact that it will simultaneously fight against childhood ...

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Some Loncheras in L.A. are Putting Good Health on the Menu

Food trucks aren't typically the first place folks go for a healthy meal. Greasy burgers, tacos and burritos are the usual fare at these kitchens-on-wheels. In many areas around the country, like Los Angeles, loncheras food trucks serve unhealthy food to primarily Latino customers, who are already more likely to be struggling with diet-related disease. But loncheras in Los Angeles have recently found that adding fresh fruits and vegetables to the menu might actually be good for business. Researchers at the Rand Corp. received funding from the National Institutes of Health to launch a pilot program to see what might happen if loncheras trucks start offering healthier meals to their customers. The lunch truck project was launched in Los Angeles County in late 2013, and Rand Corp. ...

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Youth in Bay Area Roll Out “Open Truth” Campaign Against Sugary Drink Marketing

Studies consistently find that youth remain a big target for sugary drink marketing, especially Latino and African American youth. A group of teens in the Bay Area are tired of being mislead and manipulated by these marketing companies, and have decided to do something about it. The Open Truth campaign, a youth-focused effort to highlight the health impacts of sugary drinks and expose precision marketing practices that target young people and communities of color, launched this week in San Francisco. The multimedia campaign includes videos created by Bay Area youth from The Bigger Picture Campaign, billboards in the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood, and ads on bus shelters and MUNI buses, BART stations and trains, AC Transit and storefronts around the Bay Area. According to ...

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Task Force Recommends Healthy Food Financing Policies in Ohio

Financial incentives to get healthier food into underserved areas are becoming more popular, even the federal government has recognized their effectiveness. After conducting a study on healthy food access, The Ohio Healthy Food Financing Task Force has announced policy recommendations urging local and state policymakers to take steps to remove barriers that keep healthy food retailers from operating in places where they are needed most. "We call upon Ohio's local and state government leaders to create a culture of support for healthy food retail development in underserved communities by providing seed funding for a statewide healthy food financing fund similar to the successful Pennsylvania model," said James R. Klein, CEO of Finance Fund Capital Corporation, a statewide nonprofit ...

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Tax-Free Water in Maryland

One way to encourage folks to drink more water and fewer sugary drinks, many health professionals believe, is by removing taxes on bottled water. The Sugar Free Kids Maryland coalition is working to repeal the 6% sales tax on bottled water in the state. According to group, Maryland is one of only four states that taxes bottled water at a higher rate than other essentials like milk, eggs, and bread. The Water Affordability Act will be heard next week in the House and the Senate. Get more information on the sales tax on bottled water in Maryland ...

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Healthy Eating is Getting Cooler with Veggie Temporary Tattoos

Inspired by healthy fresh produce and the farms that grow it, farmer and social entrepreneur Jenna Weiler from Holland, Michigan has come up with a fun way to promote fruits and veggies to kids while raising funds for healthy food projects. "Tater Tats" are temporary vegetable tattoos and a fun way to get kids and adults excited about seasonal, healthy eating. Weiler and her team want to sell them in stores, farmer's markets and anywhere food lovers shop. They need $2000 to produce the first round of tattoos and have started a Kickstarter project to raise money. And the tattoos won't just looking good, they'll do good, too. Weiler will give back 10% of Tater Tats profits to worthy farmers and food projects. She also want to sell wholesale to farms, markets and other positive ...

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Warning Labels for Sugary Drinks in California 2015

Back to give it another shot, California State Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning introduced Senate Bill 203 that would require a simple warning on the front of containers of soda, sweet teas, sports drinks and energy drinks. The label, developed by a national panel of public health experts, would read: STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. "Given the rock solid scientific evidence showing the dangers of sugary beverages, the state of California has a responsibility to inform consumers about products proven to be harmful to the public’s health," said Sen. Monning in a press release from the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. "This bill will give Californians the at-a-glance ...

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“Farmacy Stand” Brings Fruits & Veggies to Houston’s Medical Center

Here's a healthy idea that's sweeping the nation: Doctors writing "prescriptions" for fruits and veggies. The idea is that eating well is something that should be part of a regular routine to stay healthy, just like any important medication would be. Last Fall, a concerned doctor teamed-up with an organic produce non-profit to begin writing prescriptions for fruits and vegetables and allowing patients to fill their prescription right in Houston's medical center. Dr. Garth Davis call the new program the "Farmacy Stand." The stand is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Wednesday in the lobby of Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, 921 Gessner Road. The produce stand is located in the East Tower and free parking is available in Garage 3. Patients present prescriptions for a box ...

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