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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

New York Hospitals Expand Fruit and Veggie Prescription Program

Doctors writing at-risk patients "prescriptions" for healthy foods? The idea is catching on. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) announced the expansion of a program that allows doctors at HHC’s Elmhurst and Bellevue Hospital Centers to write fruit and vegetable “prescriptions” to children who are overweight or obese to help improve access to healthy food and promote overall health and wellness in the community. First adopted by HHC hospitals in the South Bronx and Harlem last summer, the Wholesome Wave Fruit and Vegetable Prescription program (FVRx) proved successful in its first year when the program at HHC Harlem Hospital Center and HHC Lincoln Medical Center helped 40 percent of the enrolled children lower their Body Mass Index and more than half ...

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Healthy Food Coming to Vacant Lots in Milwaukee

Groups in Milwaukee are coming together to create a fair, local food system that allows healthy food access to all residents. Outpost Natural Foods, a consumer-owned grocery co-op in the metro Milwaukee area, has given the city of Milwaukee Office of Sustainability’s “HOME GR/OWN Milwaukee” $20,000 to be used to transform vacant lots into food gardens. According to the city of Milwaukee's website, HOME GR/OWN Milwaukee empowers residents to transform neighborhoods by re-purposing vacant lots into community assets that spark new economic opportunities around local, healthy food production and distribution. “I thank Outpost’s owners and staff for their generosity in funding this new public/private partnership between my HOME GR/OWN initiative and Outpost. Our goals are ...

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Sugar Overload: Retail Checkout Promotes Obesity

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released a new study on retail stores’ promotion of candy, soda, and other unhealthy foods at checkout.  The study, “Sugar Overload: Retail Checkout Promotes Obesity,” found that a wide array of chain stores—ranging from supermarkets and drug stores to hardware and toy stores—push sugary and salty junk food on people as they wait in line. The study recommends that non-food stores stop selling food and drinks at checkout and that food stores adopt nutrition standards for the foods they sell at checkout. Click here to learn more and to download the one-page summary or the full ...

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Madison Food Policy Council Requests Funding for Better Food Access

kids in grocery store

Solutions are in the works for areas in Madison, WI that lack access to fresh, healthy foods. The Madison Food Policy Council has requested a grant of $100,000 from city council to help bring healthy foods back into underserved areas. According to an NBC15 news report, Chris Brockel, Director of Fairshare CSA Coalition and a member of the Food Policy Council, said they hope to use the grant to add nutritious foods to existing stores (like convenience stores or gas stations), help attract a new store to the area, or provide coolers and shelving so stores can carry more healthy items. The grant request has been added to the City of Madison's 2015 budget request, which awaits approval by City Council, Brockel said. Once that happens, the Food Policy Council will decide exactly how to ...

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City Considers Grocery Co-op to Fill Vacant Lot in Food Desert

grocery store

A community in North Charleston has been without a near-by grocery store for years. City officials and residents have hoped a retailer would build in the USDA-designated food desert, but no luck yet. Fortunately, the city is contemplating using a large city-owned vacant property to bring healthy, fresh foods back into this neighborhood. According to an article in the Post and Courier, Mayor Keith Summey said that the city is exploring every available option to have a self-sustaining grocery option in the area, including the possibility of a community-owned, city-sponsored store. How would this co-op function? The city would act in unison with local non-profits and private donors to provide the resources to establish a grocery store, which would then be operated by its ...

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Healthier Corner Stores Coming to Denver

Many communities around Denver, CO don't have access to fresh, healthy, or affordable foods. Fast food is cheap but nutritionally poor, and is taking a toll on residents' health. Fortunately, City and County health officials want to see these neighborhoods filled with more fresh food options, so they are infiltrating local corner stores, hoping to replace chips and sodas with healthier fare. Funded by a $327,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation, the Healthy Corner Store Initiative began in August 2014 with the city and county of Denver's Department of Environmental Health taking the lead. Details of the corner-store plan, along with other potential improvements, will be unveiled on Oct. 16 at a community meeting in northeast Denver, along with the results of a ...

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L.A. City Council Introduces Plan to Turn Blighted Lots into Urban Farms

Vacant lots can be so much more than just unused space. In Los Angeles, two city councilmen hope their proposal will turn the city's vacant lots into thriving food gardens. A motion introduced in October by Councilmen Felipe Fuentes and Curren Price calls for landowners to receive tax breaks for leasing vacant property for agriculture. Recently, the state legislature of California approved the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act, which authorized a tax adjustment for private property owners who lease land for commercial or noncommercial agriculture use for at least five years. This motion would do the same thing locally. According to an article in the L.A. Times, the Los Angeles Food Policy Council estimates that 8,600 parcels in Los Angeles would be eligible. "This ...

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Eat Healthy – Be Active workshops Now Available in Spanish

The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Eat Healthy – Be Active workshops are now available in Spanish. Each workshop promotes evidence-based health information and learning materials for Spanish speaking consumers to make informed decisions related to nutrition and physical activity and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Materials are designed for people with limited health literacy. Order “Eat Healthy—Be Active” workshop materials in Spanish and ...

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Garland Multicultural Garden to Grow Unique Plants and Culture

The Garland Multicultural Garden plot at the Garland Community Garden was officially installed on October 8th, 2014 in Garland, TX, a city considered part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The new plot is a collaboration between Loving Garland Green, a local non-profit dedicated to increasing urban gardens in Garland, and the Garland Community Multicultural Commission. The multicultural garden plot represents an extension of the learning format of the Garland community garden network. According to a blog post by Loving Garland Green member Liz Berry, some of the most beautiful and productive gardens in the city are those grown by residents who are not native to Texas.  Loving Garland Green hopes that through the installation and participation of members of the city's ...

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