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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

Improving Food Access for Families in Seattle’s Delridge Community

A new City of Seattle report published in March 2014 highlights food access priorities for women and families in the Delridge neighborhood. The report was produced by a partnership between City Council member Mike O'Brien's office, the Office of Sustainability and the Environment, and the volunteer-run Seattle Women’s Commission. It was created in direct response to the complaints of one Delridge mother, who, in 2011, testified before The Seattle Women’s Commission that she was unable to carry out the most basic household task: grocery shopping in her neighborhood. An ethnically diverse neighborhood with geographic challenges — including valleys and ridges that make getting around difficult — Delridge has no traditional grocery store. Inaccessibility of healthy food has ...

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Broome County Leads Push to Implement Healthy Drink Policies

Across the nation, communities are educating families about making healthy beverage choices. In southern New York, Broome County is taking it one step further by working on a new sugary drinks policy for all the programs run by the Broome County Cooperative Extension. The policy will provide guidelines for drink options at their programs and in their vending machines. Local 4-H groups will also adopt the policy. They plan on water and unsweetened milk replacing high-sugar sodas, juices, and teas. The extension hopes to bring these healthy drink policies to local schools and other organizations as well. Watch a news segment about the efforts ...

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‘Cultivate Iowa’ Seeks Giving Gardeners

In Iowa, where the Latino population is on the rise, a group of food-related stakeholders were brought together to form the Iowa Food Systems Council’s Food Access & Health Work Group (FAHWG) to positively impact Iowa's food environment. From this group, Cultivate Iowa was born. Cultivate Iowa's mission is to promote the benefits of food gardening and produce donation to create a sustainable future and healthier communities in Iowa. The initiative encourages people to start growing their own food wherever they can---in backyard gardens, container gardens, or wherever there is space! Then, gardeners are encouraged to donate their home-grown extras to local food pantries, sharing the goodness of fresh fruits and vegetables with families in need. Cultivate Iowa is ...

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Mobile Kitchen Plans to Bring Healthy Cooking Demos to Underserved Neighbors

A mobile kitchen will soon bring cooking demos and healthy meals to Richmond, Virginia’s East End. This at-risk community includes five government-run housing projects whose residents are in need of better food and nutrition. Called the Learning Kitchen, the fully equipped commercial kitchen's mission is to teach people how to prepare healthy foods. Commissioned by the nonprofit Bon Secours Health System, it’s the latest in a series of outreach efforts in nutrition and health. The system has helped bring fresh foods to communities in need and has sent out caravans to provide medical care for the uninsured. The kitchen-on-wheels may also go to schools to provide nutritional education and be used in health-related promotional events. Read more about the mobile kitchen and ...

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Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles

After assessing the conditions of each neighborhood in Los Angeles, researchers were struck by some major disparities that exist between L.A. communities. To change this, researchers, policy-makers, community groups, and other stakeholders came together to create a plan to make neighborhoods healthier and safer. The Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles is a new Health and Wellness Element of the city’s General Plan. The General Plan is the blueprint for how and where the city will grow and develop, commonly known the city’s planning constitution. The Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles elevates health as a priority in the city’s future growth and development, establishing a policy framework to make Los Angeles a healthier place to live, work and play. The website allows you to check ...

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Children’s Hospital Cuts Out Sugary Drinks

A 2011 study done by Dayton Children's Hospital found 37 percent of children in the region are overweight or obese. These sobering statistics motivated them to start making healthy changes in their own system. Beginning in May 2014, Dayton Children's Hospital will stop selling sugary drinks at all its locations. The new policy applies to the main campus and its outpatient care centers in Springboro and Middletown. The hospital said it includes the cafeteria, gift shop, vending machines, patient room service and on-site catering. The hospital said the move supports its mission to improve the health of children and their families. The change is part of a larger movement across the country of children's hospitals ensuring that patients have the best nutrition possible while on ...

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Water Works: A Guide to Improving Water Access and Consumption in Schools to Improve Health and Support Learning

Want to get better water access at your school but don't know where to start? The Water Works Implementation Guide can help you develop a comprehensive program to increase access to safe, appealing, low-cost drinking water sources in your school. It also provides ideas, materials, and resources to help you increase water consumption among the school community. Finally, the guide provides resources to help you evaluate the impact of your water program. The guide can be found at waterinschools.org, which also houses fact sheets and case studies about schools that have brought water back on to campus. Development of this guide was supported by a grant from the San Francisco Foundation and from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its Healthy Eating Research program. Check ...

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Bus Plans to Take Families to the Grocery Store and Teach Nutrition Along the Way

  Families living in parts of Rock Island, Illinois, one of the Quad Cities, don't have a nearby grocery store, which limits their healthy food options. The University of Illinois Extension-Rock Island County hopes to make it easier for these families to get fresh fruits and vegetables through their new initiative. Beginning in March 2014, a bus will pick up residents once a month and shuttle them to the Hy-Vee Food Store, 2930 18th Ave., and Aldi Foods, 1817 38th St.. The ride is free of charge, but that's not all. While they're on the bus, an Extension educator will talk about food, nutrition, wellness, and saving money. The bulk of the funding — about $14,000 — is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutritional Assistance ...

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National Grocer Plans to Bring Fresh Produce to Struggling South Tampa Neighborhoods

Communities in southwest Tampa often struggle to access healthy food, and this includes many Latino families. Nearby Florida Hospital recently did a full community health assessment of the area which found the top health issue in the neighborhood is diabetes. The assessment indicated that the problem stems largely from a lack of readily available, affordable and nutritious food. Wal-Mart, the nation's largest grocery, is opening up a handful of superstores in underserved areas in this community. Currently, Wal-Mart is targeting food deserts across the country in cooperation with first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood obesity. Recently-opened Wal-Mart stores in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa also are inside or within one mile of USDA-designated food ...

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