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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Study: Home Food Availability and Parental and Familial Eating Habits Influence Diet of Hispanic Children

What foods are available in the home, what parents consume, and eating meals together as a family are important in improving urban-dwelling Hispanic children’s diet quality, according to a study by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Children who had sugar-sweetened beverages available in the home and watched television during family meals were more likely to score low on the Healthy Eating Index than children who had fruits and vegetables available and ate with their family—without the TV. Read the whole study ...

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Grocery Store Expands Hispanic Foods, Especially Produce

The Black Rock neighborhood in Buffalo, NY is changing. Hispanics, African Americans, and a handful of immigrants from across the globe are settling in the area, not to mention college students from nearby SUNY Buffalo State. The neighborhood is becoming trendier, and businesses are adjusting. A regional grocery store chain, Tops Market, noticed the shift and decided to make some changes to better serve their customers. First they needed to decide what to change. To pinpoint what shoppers needed and weren't finding in the store, Tops executives met with representatives from the community, including refugee centers and student associations. The renovation incorporated all of that input, including feedback from the store’s own employees, who also live in the ...

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New Farmers’ Market Data Collection Project

Communities with successful farmers' markets can speak to how markets inspire healthier eating and promote a new-found appreciation for local farming. With so many farmers' markets across the country, it can be difficult to say exactly how a farmers' market works and what a successful one entails. A non-profit group is pulling together data on markets around the U.S., and plans to use this data to help markets begin, grow, learn, and better serve their community. The Farmers Market Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets across the United States so that they can serve as community assets while providing real income opportunities for farmers. Farmers Market Metrics will be a set of tools and resources that will allow market managers to easily and ...

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USDA Announces New Healthy Food Subsidies

Inspired by successful programs like Wholesome Wave and Michigan's Double Up Food Bucks, the federal government is recognizing that subsidizing fresh fruits and veggies for low income families is one way to encourage those families to buy and eat healthier foods. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is making up to $31.5 million in funding available to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more easily afford healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, a new Farm Bill program, brings together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system and fosters understanding of how they might improve the nutrition and health ...

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New Food Policy Council Will Strive for Better Food Access in North Carolina County

For cities and counties across the country, local food policy councils play a major role in ensuring healthy food is part of the community. Whether they are organizing a work day on a community garden or advocating for local policy to allow home-grown produce to be sold from someone's front yard, food policy councils connect people to their food. Cleveland County, North Carolina has begun conversations about creating a food policy council for the county, which has a growing Latino population. Cleveland County is one of only four counties in North Carolina that has a catalyst coordinator, whose job is to increase access to healthy food options and opportunities for people to be active. The county catalyst coordinator, along with other county officials, are hosting a public forum ...

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Model Healthy Children’s Meals Ordinance

It's no secret that restaurants' kids' meals tend to be unhealthy. What if local communities could ensure that kids' meals in their neighborhoods only offered food geared towards kids that was nutritious? NPLAN, a project of ChangeLab Solutions, has developed a model ordinance to help jurisdictions regulate the nutritional content of children’s meals sold at restaurants in their communities. Our Model Healthy Children’s Meals Ordinance provides local governments with a way to steer restaurants toward providing healthier options for children by setting nutrition standards for children’s meals. Using this model legislation, communities can choose to regulate the nutritional quality of either the entire children’s meal or the beverages served to children as part of a ...

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Singer Strikes Deal to Promote Bottled Water

Soda companies are notorious for using big-name celebrities to promote their beverages in TV commercials, billboards, social media, and beyond. But one up-and-coming bottled water company landed a big star to promote their line of bottled waters, hoping to garner the same attention sugary drinks receive when they enlist celeb power.  Singer Ariana Grande will be the new face of a campaign for Wat-aah!, a small but growing functional water brand, according to an article in Advertising Age. The campaign, expected to launch next year, will include outdoor, print and digital ads in teen and lifestyle publications. The company is also a supporter of Let’s Move!’s Drink Up! campaign. Wat-aah! calls itself a champion for child health, but some nutrition activists point to the ...

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Birmingham’s ‘Public Markets’ Hope to Transform Community

Birmingham, Alabama is working to overcome food deserts and foster community. The volunteer-led Southwest Fresh Market is part of an ambitious plan initiated by REV Birmingham, a nonprofit working with local government, business, and community partners to find solutions to a common challenge: how to connect urban, often low-income residents with small farmers looking to boost sales. REV Birmingham is working to create "public markets" around the city, partnering with neighborhood groups to engage local residents in planning all aspects of the markets, from operations to outreach to product mix. After two seasons the Southwest Fresh Market has developed a steady base of customers and recently started accepting SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) to expand its reach to the ...

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Advocates Brainstorm Food Policies in Prince George’s County

Almost 15% of the population in Prince George's County is Latino, many of which live in areas with low access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Groups like the Food Equity Council, a volunteer nonprofit food policy organization, work to improve access to healthy, affordable, sustainable, culturally appropriate and safe food options in the county for individuals of all socioeconomic status. The Food Equity Council held its first Food Equity Forum on Sept. 18, bringing together private farms and businesses, local government agencies, nonprofits and other community stakeholders to look for ways to improve access to healthy food. A mobile food market that accepts SNAP benefits is one part of the solution that is already in action in Prince George's County, but stakeholders want to see ...

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