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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Large Health System in Oregon Bids Farewell to Sugary Drinks

A health system in Oregon is the latest organization to kick-off 2015 sugary drink-free. Providence Health & Services will no longer sell or stock sugary drinks in Oregon hospitals and business offices as part of their healthy dining initiative. During the next two months, the drinks will be phased out at all eight of Providence's Oregon hospitals, clinics, and businesses offices, said Sandy Miller, the organization's director of Health and Nutrition, in a news article. The new healthier drink options include fruit-infused water, bottled water, seltzer water, sugar-free or diet drinks, milk, and 100-percent fruit and vegetable juices. According to Miller, regular soda will still be available by patient request in care areas and visitors can still bring their own beverages. ...

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Indiana Legislator Hopes to Replicate Successful Community-Owned Grocery Store to Increase Healthy Food Access

When neighborhoods lack full-service grocery stores, many families turn to unhealthy fast food since fresh, healthy produce isn't nearby. The community-owned grocery store is one solution gaining popularity in the fight against lack of grocery store access. In Indianapolis's near east side, one community-owned grocery store has been so successful that a state lawmaker hopes to pass legislation that would encourage these types of stores in other underserved area across Indiana. State Representative Justin Moed plans to ask the State Department of Agriculture to to help bring other community-owned grocery stores to urban food deserts in hopes that families will have access to healthier food and make better food choices. Nathan Roberts manages Pogue's Run Grocery, the store ...

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Hospital in Wisconsin Phases-Out Sugary Drinks

The phasing-out of sugary drinks at health care centers continues across the nation, but this particular hospital has been slowly testing the waters for years. At Hudson Hospital and Clinic in Hudson, WI, where Latinos make-up the largest minority group, they've been working to slowing eliminate all sugar and artificial sweeteners from drinks on campus since 2011. Now, at the start of 2015, hospital officials say the switch is complete and patients and staff are on board with the changes. Sparkling water, fruit juices, fruit-vegetable and herb-infused water, milk, coffee and tea are the new beverage options available to visitors, patients and staff. Folks seem to be embracing the changes; sales at the hospital café have remained constant since the change, said Nutrition Care ...

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Western Minnesota Health Care Center Cuts Out Sugary Drinks

Another health care center has cut out sugary drink from their campus as part of the Commons Health Hospital challenge. Beginning in 2015, sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, energy and sports drinks, sweetened coffees and teas and fruit drinks will no longer be sold or distributed at Essentia Health-Fosston, a critical-access hospital in Foston, Minnesota. “At Essentia Health, our mission is to make a healthy difference in people’s lives,” says Kevin Gish, administrator and regional vice president for Essentia Health-Fosston in a press release. "As a leadership team, we felt that selling and profiting from the sales of sugar-sweetened beverages was not congruent with that mission.” Read more about the decision ...

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Community Food Business Incubator Hopes to Fund More Healthy Kitchens Across New Mexico

The Mixing Bowl is a community commercial kitchen that has been helping small food businesses get going in New Mexico for the past ten years. To celebrate their decade of success, the Mixing Bowl is asking the New Mexico State legislature for $700,000 to fund development of a dozen other similar kitchens throughout the state, calling it the La Cocina initiative. If funded, the La Cocina Initiative will help a dozen existing rural New Mexico communities build out food entrepreneur programs based on the successful Mixing Bowl model in underutilized commercial kitchens like those in community center, schools, and churches. But these community kitchens aren't aimed at simply producing food---they want the food to be fresh and healthy. Delicious New Mexico helps with this ...

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Mobile Market Plans to Launch Spring 2015 in Pittsburgh

Mobile food markets are rolling out across the country, bringing fresh fruits and vegetables into areas without full-service grocery stores near by. In Pittsburgh, however, no such mobile market exists---yet. Farm Truck Foods, a new mobile market serving areas around Pittsburgh, will begin selling produce this coming Spring. With support from a $75,000 grant it received from the community development nonprofit Neighborhood Allies, Farm Truck Foods will buy a truck and retrofit it with refrigerators and other equipment. It will sell affordable and fresh produce, grains, dairy products, meat and some pre-packaged foods in a number of communities that lack healthy food access. Shoppers will be able to buy items with cash, credit cards, debit cards and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance ...

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Update: Mobile Market Coming to the Orlando Area

Many areas in central Florida lack easy access to fresh, healthy foods. Registered Dietitian Roniece Weaver recognized the problem 20-years ago in the neighborhoods around the center of Orlando. She teamed up with a few other dietitians to form Hebni Nutrition Consultants to educate people on how to prevent diet related diseases. But she wanted to do more. The group wanted to give the neighborhood better access to healthy staples like apples, lettuce, bananas, and tomatoes. So they figured they had two options: find local stores that will expand their fresh produce offerings, or try something a bit different---a mobile farmers' market. Weaver says the mobile market is a better solution. “We can expand our reach and be anywhere on any given day, and reach different ...

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Vending Machines Stocked with Fresh Produce Coming to Des Moines

Vending machines filled with fresh fruits and vegetables will soon be coming to underserved neighborhoods in Des Moines. Robotic Retail was awarded $30,000 to make this concept a reality at the city's Ignite Community Innovation Challenge.  Robotic Retail is a partnership between Eat Greater Des Moines and Oasis24seven, a company that builds and sells vending machine-style robotic stores. Its plan is to place the machines, which accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, as well as other payment methods, to distribute fresh produce at reasonable prices in areas of Des Moines identified as food deserts. Read more in this Vending Times ...

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Bill to Limit Junk Food Purchases with SNAP in Maine May Be Introduced

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About 15% of SNAP participants are Latino families that need a little extra help at mealtime. Some lawmakers believe limiting what SNAP participants can buy with their benefits, like outlawing cookies, ice cream, and greasy chips, will encourage these families to choose healthier food items.  Maine Governor Paul LePage has announced his intention to introduce legislation in 2015 that would ban the purchase of junk food with SNAP benefits.  Augusta Senator Roger Katz has already filed legislation that's similar to a bill that was defeated two years ago. Both men site obesity and diet-related disease as a main reason for the proposed ban. The federal government already prohibits the purchase of alcohol, tobacco and other nonfood products with SNAP benefits, but has rejected bans on ...

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