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Shannon Baldwin

Articles by Shannon Baldwin

El Paso Restaurant’s Simple Changes Make a Big Difference

In El Paso, a largely Latino city located at the southwestern tip of Texas near the Mexico border, the Latino cultural influence can be found in architecture, décor, events—and especially food. But city residents struggle with high rates of obesity and related diseases, including diabetes. A new restaurant initiative is encouraging local businesses to help children in the community make healthier choices when dining out. One local restaurant owner in particular, who was unhappy with what his own kids were stuck ordering on kids’ menus around town, set out to prove that creating a healthy, tasty kids’ menu can be easy to do and good for business. EMERGENCE Awareness: During a Sunday dinner out with his kids, Jesus Roybal was shocked at what he saw on the kids’ menu. “It was ...

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Roots and Rays Community Garden in Chicago Gets Community Input for Redevelopment

On Nov. 3, Pilsen community members gathered in an office at St. Pius Church to discuss the redevelopment project for the Roots and Rays Community Garden located at the intersection of Cullerton and Laflin. They plan to meet weekly to discuss the progress as well as brainstorm ways to have the garden better serve the community. The Pilsen garden’s soil will go under a remediation process beginning in January due to detected levels of lead and chromium that increase safety risk for the local gardeners and their children. The remediation of the soil is made possible through the approval from Alderman Danny Solis (26th Ward) and a partnership with Neighbor Space, a nonprofit and community land trust dedicated to the protection and development of community gardens across the ...

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Latino Group Works to Add Healthier Foods at Stores in Milwaukee Neighborhood

When clinic worker Tatiana Maida had trouble finding many healthy products in the small grocery stores in her Latino neighborhood in Milwaukee, she decided to do something about it. She teamed up with concerned parents, dietitians  academics, and store owners to launch a group dedicated to bring baked snacks,hormone-free milk, antibiotic-free eggs, and nutritious grains and seeds into the community’s food environment. When this team of people from all walks of life worked together, they were able to infuse healthy food options into the neighborhood. EMERGENCE Awareness: About 80% of the patients at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center (SSCHC) in Milwaukee’s South side neighborhood are Latinos. 77% of the adult patients are either obese or overweight, and frequently ...

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Washington First State to Ensure Healthy Food Access

The state of Washington is leading the way in ensuring healthy food access for all residents. In November 2013, Gov. Inslee signed  signed Executive Order 13-06 called “Improving the Health and Productivity of State Employees and Access to Healthy Foods in State Facilities.” This executive order sets up a  State Employee Health and Wellness Steering Committee that will ensure that food and beverages served on state property meet healthy guidelines, and when possible, are locally grown or produced. This means vending machines, on-site retail, and even meetings are about to get a lot healthier. With the state's far-reaching influence, many places around Washington will be seeing healthier food options. Read more about the policy here. Read Executive Order 13-06 ...

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Study: As cost of sugary drinks go up, sales go down

Can raising the price of sugary drinks convince people to buy them less? A new Harvard study found that raising the cost of high-calorie beverages by a few cents and highlighting calorie content in places where they are sold, decreases sales. Researchers at Harvard conducted a study in the cafeteria of a financial services company. They increased the price of high-calorie beverages (those that contained 150 calories or more per container), mostly soda, lemonade, whole chocolate milk, and some juices, by one cent per ounce. Could this lead folks to believe that a soda tax would encourage people to drink less sugary drinks? Read more about the study ...

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Learning Lots and Eating Well at the Guadalupe Community Garden

The Guadalupe neighborhood in Lubbock, Texas has seen some tough times. With many folks struggling to make ends meet, healthy eating has not always been a priority. As a result, obesity has been on the rise in children and adults. It took one determined Latina to get the community back to their roots of growing delicious, fresh foods. Lala Chavez partnered with a local university, her church, and ultimately the city to plant a community garden that would give the neighborhood with a space for learning, activities, and delicious tomatoes. EMERGENCE Awareness: Lala Chavez’s family has lived in the Guadalupe neighborhood for generations. A predominantly Latino community on Lubbock’s northeast side, the neighborhood has a history of poverty. “My grandfather was the first one to ...

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Austin City Council Considers Limiting Kids’ Access to Fast Food Restaurants

Fast food restaurants may be be quick and easy, but research shows they don't offer many healthy kids meal items. In Austin, like many cities around the United States, fast food restaurants can be found almost everywhere, especially in areas where Latino children live. Austin City Council is considering limiting where new fast food restaurants can set up shop. The resolution, if passed, would restrict fast-food food restaurants from locating near areas that children frequent. That includes schools, municipal parks, child care centers and libraries. Read more about the resolution here. Thursday November 21, 2013, Austin City Council voted to reject the fast food ...

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Marquette University Students Want to Bring a Grocery Store to the Community

The community that surrounds Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI is an official food desert, a USDA distinction for areas that lack a full-service grocery store within a one-mile radius and are predominately low-income . Many of these folks are Latino. Marquette students and a local church are hoping to do something to change this. An editorial in the school paper calls for the University to turn the former home of Campus Dollar, a now vacant building, into a grocery store. The author makes the case that:  "If Marquette is serious about working to get a grocery store in the neighborhood, the empty 4,000 square feet would be a good place to start. If the university would be willing to subsidize rent initially to attract grocery tenants to the space, profitability concerns may ...

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Kid-Approved Super-Hero Party Foods

When throwing a birthday party for your kid, it's easy to get stuck in the pizza and ice cream rut. If you're trying to teach your kid healthful habits, why not extend it into party time? MomsRising.org brings you some super-hero themed healthy and easy party food suggestions that could also be used at community events or in the classroom. Check out these fun ideas for yummy party snacks guaranteed to boost superhero ...

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